CHIEF MINISTER KICK STARTS NATIONALS
A visit to the Hidden Valley Karting Raceway by Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Paul Henderson has kickstarted proceedings for this weekend’s 50th Australian National Sprint Kart Championships today.
Chief Minister Henderson spent time at the circuit during today’s practice sessions where he was hosted by Australian Karting Association National President Craig Denton, Motorsports NT President Grant Hamon and Darwin Karting Association’s Greg Meyer.
During the visit, Chief Minister Henderson indicated that he was thrilled that Darwin to be hosting this weekend’s event and it confirms the Hidden Valley Motorsport complex as the best motorsport complex in Australia.
“Hidden Valley draws more than 110,000 spectators through the gate each year to our first-class sporting events including V8 Supercars, Superbikes, Drag Strip racing including next month’s Aussie Slamfest and now the national Karting Championships – injecting millions of dollars into our economy,” said the Chief Minister.
“The $820,000 upgrade to Hidden Valley facility was a strategic investment to secure another national racing event and make Hidden Valley the best motorsport track in Australia.
“We are targeting big sporting events to bring more tourists to the Territory. Already there are plans to bring the Asian Karting Championships here which will bring thousands of spectators from more than 50 countries, extending our reach into Asia and potentially establishing Hidden Valley as the motorsports hub of Northern Australia.”
“I have no doubt the 1000 spectators and crew members will get out and about and enjoy our great Territory lifestyle as part of their visit – events like this are a great boost to the Territory economy with visitors checking out local attractions and spending time in our cafes, shops, pubs and clubs.”
This evening, more than 200 drivers, team members and industry members enjoyed a function at Parliament House hosted by the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mr Karl Hampton MLA.
“Having karting recognised by the Government is one thing, but then to have a function for the sport in the ‘big hall’ of parliament was something pretty special,” said ten-time Australian Champion Matthew Wall.
“After racing last weekend and then enjoying some great Territory weather and sight seeing over the past couple of days, I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s nationals.”
Practice for this weekend’s championships continues from 12pm tomorrow ahead of qualifying and heat races on Saturday. The championship finals will be contested on Sunday.