Supercars driver calls out politician over Adelaide 500 'lies'

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·Sports Reporter
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Supercars' return to the Adelaide 500 has left one city councillor bent out of shape, with driver Nick Percat accusing them of 'lies' regarding the event. Pictures: Getty Images
Supercars' return to the Adelaide 500 has left one city councillor bent out of shape, with driver Nick Percat accusing them of 'lies' regarding the event. Pictures: Getty Images

Supercars driver Nick Percat has accused an Adelaide councillor of 'lies' regarding the return of the Adelaide 500 to the South Australian capital.

Generally regarded as one of the premier events in Australian motorsport, the Adelaide 500 has been absent from the Supercars calendar since 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The event is set to return to the city's streets later this year, but the debate surrounding the logistics of the event left former Bathurst champion Percat seeing red.

South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas announced the Adelaide 500 would return on a new five-year deal as the Supercars season finale, a deal which will conclude in 2026.

Percat was left fuming after Liberal councillor Alex Hyde lamented 'quite disruptive' road closures in the lead-up, with the Supercars driver taking him to task when interviewed about the event's return on ABC Radio.

The Walkinshaw Andretti United driver, who grew up in Adelaide, said it was frustrating to see major events beset by petty criticism.

"You guys are just so short-sighted, it's unbelievable. Honestly. Just be happy you're going to have a major event back in South Australia injecting money into the state," he said.

"Every other state is getting on with it and wants big events coming through, and we have Adelaide still pushing back.

"It's infuriating, honestly."

Percat later took to Twitter to respond to a user who disagreed with his comments.

The 33-year-old replied, saying he did not believe an accurate assessment about the nature of the event was being communicated to residents.

"When you are consistently lied to about the event, it’s infuriating," he wrote.

"You all have such a great event coming and it’s amazing for SA to showcase. I just tell the truth."

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Hyde had earlier claimed preparations for the event would take months to complete, becoming an unreasonable burden on Adelaide residents.

A substantial amount of work will be completed to resurface various streets around the city in the months beforehand, as well as the construction of the actual street circuit closer to the event date.

"Probably the standout is total set up and pack down time is going to be five months, which is a serious amount of time and so that's a concern," Hyde said.

"Most of that time is going to be in the occupation of particular parks and parklands, and then on top of that, we're going to see longer road closures on either side of that."

Percat, however, said this was disengenous at best.

Supercars driver Nick Percat, left, has lashed out at an Adelaide councillor's criticism of plans for the Adelaide 500 to return. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Supercars driver Nick Percat, left, has lashed out at an Adelaide councillor's criticism of plans for the Adelaide 500 to return. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

The 2016 Adelaide 500 winner said much of the work done to prepare for the event were projects that would need to be undertaken at some point regardless - such as resurfacing.

He also said Hyde was deliberately phrasing it to make it sounds as though large sections of the city would be shut down for months at a time.

"You're talking about five months of closure ... it's not five months of road closures, they start working there five months out because the event has not been there for a few years," he said.

"They have to resurface some roads, which happens every day because roads deteriorate, racetracks deteriorate.

"You guys are just missing the big picture of putting SA on the map again. Tailem Bend serves its purpose but it does not inject anything like this event does."

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