Supercars has lost its marquee event, the Adelaide 500, after the South Australian government announced it would withdraw its support.
It's a blow to the series, but with slumping attendances and the impact of COVID-19 on logistics and planning for next year, the decision comes as little surprise.
Initially, the event - latterly known as the Superloop 500 - was to be pushed to a late-season spot on the 2021 calendar.
Events South Australia executive director Hitaf Rasheed confirmed in September that the Superloop Adelaide 500 would not take place in its traditional time slot of late February/early March in 2021.
“Our world-class street circuit requires significant planning and temporary infrastructure to operate successfully. Our event-build is one of the largest in the state and comes with considerable risk and reward,” she said.
Now, the South Australian government has withdrawn its support for the race for next year, and will not seek to renew its contract to run the event going forward.
"The South Australian Government has communicated its decision to no longer conduct the Adelaide 500," read a short statement from Supercars.
"Supercars have enjoyed racing at this event since 1999. We regret that the South Australian Government has decided to cease holding this event.
Supercars are looking forward to providing our fans with an exciting 2021 Championship across Australia and New Zealand. If at any time in the future, the South Australian Government decides to recommence the Adelaide 500, Supercars would be delighted to be there."
South Australian Tourism chief executive Rodney Harrex confirmed the news.
“We have been in discussions with Supercars for the majority of this year, working through possible scenarios," he said in a statement. "At the end of the day, 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."
The track was first conceived for Formula 1, hosting the series for ten years from 1985 before it moved to Melbourne.
Backed by state governments as a tourist revenue raiser, a shortened version of the Adelaide circuit was revived, and it played host to the V8 Supercars - now Supercars - from 1999 until 2020.
However, with the opening of The Bend, a large motorsport venue about an hour away from Adelaide, the government will switch its motorsport dollars from the infrastructure-heavy street track to the purpose-built facility in Tailem Bend.
"“We have a terrific world-class motor racing facility at The Bend. We are very fortunate to have had significant private investment in that circuit, and we already know the motoring faithful are keen to support ongoing races there," confirmed Harrex.
The Adelaide circuit also played host to a round of the American Le Mans series on New Year's Eve of 2000.
Known as the Race of a Thousand Years, it was stopped two hours early and 250km short of its 1000km distance.