19 July 1998
Chief Minister Shane Stone was the architect of the V8 Supercar round held at Hidden Valley Raceway. The first event was staged 17 to 19 July 1998. Shane Stone had no background or prior interest in motorsports but with the encouragement of then Chairman of Shell Dr Roland Williams CBE the Chief Minister was persuaded to embrace the V8 Supercars as a signature event on the Northern Territory sporting calendar. The initial reaction of CAMS following the events surrounding the Cannon Ball Run in May 1994 was negative. With the support of the Chairman V8 Supercars Tony Cochrane (achieved his first Government backed sanction fee), racing legend Dick Johnston and the Shell Company the first Hidden Valley round was an enormous success and became a template for a round in Adelaide following the loss of the Grand Prix to Melbourne. Shane Stone appointed his predecessor Marshall Perron as first Chairman of NT Events; Paul Cattermole was the first Executive Director. Between them, they delivered a world-class round that continues to grow with Hidden Valley today hosting numerous motorsports-related events. What was once a dust bowl has been transformed into a first-class facility supported by both sides of the political aisle. As Minister Daryl Manzie, a confessed ‘rev head’, later remarked it needed an outsider to carry it off. Local businessman Mr Fraser Henry, Singapore High Commissioner to Australia H.E Low Chou Ming and Indonesian Consul Pak Surono Widodo.