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The unique sign of Adelaide 500’s success

LEADING Supercars drivers have pointed to an unusual indicator of success associated with the Adelaide 500’s return.

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas was greeted with boisterous cheers on the Sunday podium as he presented the winner’s trophy to Broc Feeney, a reception not commonly experienced by politicians in Australia.

Malinauskas was the driving force behind the iconic event’s return, having hitched his wagon to reviving the Adelaide 500 long before being elected in March this year.

The event had been killed off by the former state government spearheaded by Steven Marshall but Malinauskas led a passionate campaign to bring it back.

The public responded not only at the polling booths but by attending in droves across the past four days, with an estimated total crowd figure of 258,200 released.

Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert mounted the podium of both days thanks to a win on Saturday and second place on Sunday, made not of the reception.

“To see the amount of South Australian people here were was so stoked to have their race back, hearing them yelling out to their Premier. It’s not very often that politicians actually get cheered so that was quite interesting,” he said.

Shane van Gisbergen, who delighted fans with an incredible burnout display, echoed those sentiments.

“I think it’s a fantastic place to finish out a season,” said the now three-time Supercars champion.

“Hopefully next year, to win it with a round to go would be great again, but if not this is the perfect place for a cliffhanger. The races we’ve had this weekend are epic, it’s great for the sport.

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

“There was so much action and what they’ve done to bring the event back here, I’ve never heard a Premier get cheered here before. It was amazing.

“It’s what it means to people to have this event back.

“I remember when I came here the Wednesday after Bathurst to do the media interviews, like the whole town was all for it, how enthused everyone was to have this race back.

“It’s a very cool feeling and it’s what we need so hopefully it’s a great place to finish out the season for years to come.”

In announcing Robbie Williams as the event’s 2023 concert headline act, Malinauskas today reflected on the journey to restoring the 500.

“Let me be frank, we took a risk,” he said.

“I took a risk, Supercars took a risk asking, ‘can we bring this event back bigger, better and on time?’

“We had six months and we got it done but we had to put the resources in to make sure that worked.

“I thought to myself, ‘well wouldn’t this be good for Adelaide’. Now we have got it and I think South Australians can look forward to it.

“Tickets go on sale tomorrow, locked in at the 2022 prices, which is the prices that were in place back at the beginning of the last decade.

“So we wanted to make this successful for South Australians, particularly given cost of living is going up, we want it to be affordable for families and they repaid that faith by coming out in huge numbers over the course of the weekend.”

Adelaide is locked in as the Supercars season finale until the end of 2026.

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