Adelaide could find itself as the latest circuit on the Formula E calendar as the cancellation of the Adelaide 500 Supercars event opens the door for new opportunities.
A combination of coronavirus-induced factors and a fall in revenue saw the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATA) cancel the 2021 event.
The race was scheduled to be held sometime in October after the uncertainty surrounding construction lead-in time saw the traditional February opener become unviable.
SATA chief executive Rodney Harrex then admitted that the event, which has found home on the Supercars calendar for 22 years, is unlikely to return.
“With the current set of circumstances, we are not in a position to deliver a sustainable, successful future for the event for next year and beyond,” said Harrex.
Now, reports from Autosport and a push by local proponents have seen a significant rise in the prospect of Formula E ‘taking over’ the Adelaide 500 with an event of its own that would incorporate elements of the existing street circuit.
Earlier this year, co-founder of Formula, Alberto Longo, revealed that 26 cities across the globe had lodged interest in hosting an E-Prix in the future.
Velocity News has already learnt Auckland was considered on that list, and Longa confirmed to Autosport today that Adelaide is high on the series’ radar.
“Australia is a market that is showing considerable interest in e-mobility, with [electric vehicle] sales tripling in the last year alone.
“We are in discussion with multiple cities around the world and across Australasia to host future events – including Adelaide which has great motorsport heritage and a tech hub for the future – but our priority remains the safe and successful running of the upcoming season.”
Technology entrepreneur and electric-car advocate Simon Hackett has been pushing for an event in Adelaide for several years. He says now is a prime opportunity for the city to take up on the chance to host to showcase to the world the direction of global motoring.
“One of the missed opportunities is that I wish Formula E had managed to be attached onto the back of the 500 event,” Hackett told ABC Radio Australia.
“It would have so simple to clip it onto the back of it with all that infrastructure already there and to show people just how fast these things are.
“[Formula E] needs a lot less support [than Supercars] because it doesn’t need much more than a bit of electricity.
“I think there is real merit in trying to get some demonstration event happening here, not necessarily a full Formula E event. It would be great to have some Formula E cars out for a demonstration somewhere in the city.
“It would also be great to see some bravery in deciding that this is where the future is, not the past.”