Motorsport lobby calls on Prime Minister to speed up plans for racetrack

Malta Motorsport Federation says government should act swiftly to ensure interested investors do not lose interest in planned racetrack

8 April 2017, 1:36pm
The Malta Motorsport Federation (MMF) has urged Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to fulfil the electoral promise to construct a motorsport race circuit in Malta.

Addressing the press outside Castille on Saturday morning, MMF President Tonio Cini said that after issuing an expression of interest in 2015, government has not proceeded with the selection process despite receiving five submissions.

Cini said the investors include experienced companies who have built international standard tracks in America, Qatar, and Russia.

“We cannot keep these investors waiting and we know that the government meant spent 250,000 euros on this expression of interest. As a federation we believe that this project must take place, because it can bring a stronger investment to the country,” Cini said.

An international expression of interest for the design, construction and operation of a motor recreation and education park was launched some two years ago.

The proposal has proven controversial amongst environmentalists, with green party Alternattiva Demokratika claiming that Malta is too small to sustain a motorsports track, and Front Harsien ODZ calling for a feasibility study to precede the EOI.

But Cini insisted that the facilities will be more than a racetrack, underlining the educational functions such a track offers.

“This is not just a racetrack, but it will be a facility where people can learn how to drive properly, such as learning gaining control of a car, something which can't be done on our roads.”

He also underlined the economic importance of a racetrack, saying that the facilities would attract tourists and international events.

Calling on the Prime Minister to act swiftly, Cini said “it is high time for this capital investment to take place, and this decision should be made as soon as possible before investors lose their interest.”

The site and size of the track are yet to be decided, however Cinis said the federation would not oppose having the track constructed in Hal Far but insisted that the facilities should include a circular track of 3km.

Among the sites being considered for the track are the stretch of land between Siggiewi and Qrendi, the area around the Hal Far quarter mile track and the pristine Mtahleb area. 

The EOI sought the development of racing tracks for cars, bikes, go karts, mini motos and scooters, meeting international standards.

Moreover, the EOI stipulated that the facility must attract international events on a regular basis and the park’s administration, in agreement with the government, must allow slots to be used by local enthusiasts for their training.