Last Race For Holden Is Adelaide 2022

Production contracted until just Elizabeth was left, and on 20 October 2017 the last locally designed Commodore rolled off the production line in the same city the Holden story started. Thanks to the timely rescue of the Adelaide 500, so too will Holden take the chequered flag for the final time where the lion first roared.

Who will claim the last race of Holden’s long farewell?

Supercars and the Adelaide 500. The words just go together.

Now they’re united again after an almost three-year hiatus.

Those three years were a rollercoaster for the relationship. The race was the last to go ahead in 2020 before the outbreak of the pandemic, and at the end of the year its contract was ripped up by South Australia a season early.

It took a change of government this year to revive the event, and such is the enthusiasm for one of the country’s greatest street tracks that it was fast-tracked to become the final round of this year, a shift from its traditional season-opening slot.

Ordinarily eight months would be ample time to set up a well-established street course, but with some infrastructure sold, other parts in need of restoration and most of the circuit itself requiring resurfacing, South Australian organisers have been up against it to be ready on time.

But the finishing touches were put on the parklands circuit with just moments to spare, and today the iconic track at long lasts welcomes back the Supercars.

And there couldn’t be a more symbolically significant way to end the 2022 season.

This year’s calendar has been just about normal compared to those of the preceding pandemic years, the sport able to crisscross the country freely after two seasons of border restrictions and Covid regulations.

Adelaide is one of the final missing pieces of the puzzle, which will finally be completed with the return of Newcastle at the first round of next season.

But more significant is that this weekend is the long braced-for final race for the Holden brand.

Holden is part of the Australian story but an indelible part of Adelaide history.

James Holden established the forerunner of what would eventually become his eponymous car manufacturer in Adelaide 1856, and while the rapidly growing business expanded all over the country, most notably in Melbourne, its Elizabeth plant in northern Adelaide was its spiritual and emotional home for almost its entire history.

As much was clear when the brand commenced the unhappy process of winding down last decade. Production contracted until just Elizabeth was left, and on 20 October 2017 the last locally designed Commodore rolled off the production line in the same city the Holden story started.

Thanks to the timely rescue of the Adelaide 500, so too will Holden take the chequered flag for the final time where the lion first roared.

True, Holden has really been gone for quite some time. The company shuttered long ago, with the Commodore racing on in Supercars only thanks to the silhouette regulations, a kind of long echo through the years.

The introduction of the Gen3 rules next year will mean the end of that throwback, at least in the main game, in favour of General Motors backing the Chevrolet Camaro to go up against the new Ford Mustang.

Of course GM has owned Holden for longer than the Australian Touring Car Championship has existed, so the long-running rivalry in that sense continues. But with neither Holden nor Ford existing as Australian manufacturers, and with the Camaro not even sold directly in Australia, it will take a very different form.

Better? Worse? Just different. It’ll be an all-new era for the sport.

That of course means this is the end of the Holden-Ford era as we know it — and that means one final piece of that significant Australian history is up for grabs on Holden’s home turf this weekend.

And you can bet everyone wants to claim it for themselves.

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