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HomeNewsAdelaide 500 debrief: Five takeaways

Adelaide 500 debrief: Five takeaways

THE return of the Adelaide 500 was the final proof that big Supercars events are back in vogue.

A stellar crowd rolled in for what was a special event in more ways than one, with Holden’s belated swansong a key theme.

The two modern-day teams with the strongest connection to the Lion stepped up accordingly, with retro-liveried Walkinshaw Andretti United and Triple Eight Race Engineering splitting the wins.

There sure is plenty to reflect on a week down the track, as V8 Sleuth explores here.

The racing

Adelaide provided two of the best street circuit races in recent memory.

There was no shortage of passing, or carnage, or controversy.

The track resurfacing clearly contributed, with drivers greeted by fast but unforgiving conditions.

Speaking of unforgiving… is there a more punishing corner than infamous Turn 8?

All in all, Adelaide immediately re-established itself as Australia’s premier street circuit.

Off-track

Beyond a stacked support card, there were concerts aplenty – and none better than The Killers, who put on an outstanding show on Sunday night.

Further, Aussie stars Jimmy Barnes, Amy Shark and Lime Cordiale were spread out across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to cater to a wide range of tastes.

Music lovers will be in for a treat next year too, with Robbie Williams already confirmed.

A star is born: Part 1

A jubilant Broc Feeney. Pic: Supplied

It had been a strong if unspectacular rookie season for Broc Feeney… until the very last day of the season.

Feeney excelled in the Shootout to outqualify teammate Shane van Gisbergen, and forced veteran Will Davison into a mistake to grab the lead of the race (after the pair had slightly benefitted from the timing of a Safety Car).

With the spotlight shining bright and relentless pressure coming from Chaz Mostert behind, Feeney stood tall to bring home a maiden win.

All of a sudden, it now seems realistic that he’ll be on the top step far more often in the coming seasons.

Power shift

A day earlier, it was Scott Pye starring with a faultless display to give Team 18 very real hope of its first race win.

Pye put his Holden on the front row and hassled Cam Waters all race until strategy conspired against them both. Even still, Pye looked a red-hot chance of charging back to the podium until being collected by Bryce Fullwood at Turn 9.

The point I’m making here? Pye now seems to be Team 18’s on-track leader, contrary to what the championship standings might indicate.

Mark Winterbottom has done a superb job of consistently accumulating points but it’s increasingly Pye who looks likely to be the one to deliver the breakthrough blow for Charlie Schwerkolt.

Something to improve on

There wasn’t much to complain about regarding the Adelaide 500’s return.

But one key area needing fixing was obvious: the need for better shade for the pit straight grandstands.

The combination of sweltering heat and largely uncovered seats in the most visible section of the venue often made for a misrepresentation of how big the overall crowd was, and slightly detracted from an otherwise top-notch atmosphere and experience.

One simple fix, please.

Shane van Gisbergen’s championship burnout. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

Bonus round (A star is born: Part 2)

Supercars sure know how to celebrate and that goes beyond the stunning burnouts led by Shane van Gisbergen.

Noiseworks frontman Jon Stevens was a welcome performer at the Supercars Gala but the real surprise packet was Mitch Wiley, Repco’s head of sponsorship.

Stevens was as surprised as any after plucking him out of the crowd to come up on stage, Wiley proceeding to deliver an impressive rendition of ‘Take Me Back’.

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