[WATCH] EOI for design, construction and operation of motorsports racetrack launched

Motorsports complex may include hotel, maintenance facilities and transport museum

An international expression of interest for the design, construction and operation of motorsports complex has been launched (Photography: Ray Attard)
An international expression of interest for the design, construction and operation of motorsports complex has been launched (Photography: Ray Attard)
Parliamentary secretary Chris Agius
Parliamentary secretary Chris Agius
EOI for motorsports complex launched • Video by Ray Attard

An international expression of interest for the design, construction and operation of a motor recreation and education park was launched this morning by parliamentary secretary for sports Chris Agius.

The launch of the EOI was welcomed by motorsports enthusiasts, who for years have been promised a professional racetrack. Motorsports in Malta is extremely popular, with several local names hitting international headlines when competing abroad.

Although a small number of facilities exist, these preclude the organisation of events of international standard.

The EOI leaves it up to investors to come up with their own choice of location: "Several sites were proposed in the consultation process for the drafting of the EOI. We decided to leave it open and consider the sites in line with what the investor proposes," Agius said.

Asked whether the government would prefer committed land over ODZ land, Agius said the privatization unit will consider all proposals and plans will be subjected to the various authorities.

"The government wants to ensure the maximization of the land used, especially for the creation of jobs."

Likewise, PN spokesman for sports David Agius said the Opposition would seek to ensure the maximization of land used.

“The choice of land will be the main issue. We will therefore consider the proposals that will be submitted and help enthusiasts with the realization of this dream,” the PN spokesman said.

The parliamentary secretary added that the government was not only after a race track of international standards but also a facility that serves to educate drivers in a bid to reduce accidents and promote safety.

According to Chris Agius, the EOI has already generated interest from foreign investors.

The EOI seeks the development of racing tracks for cars, bikes, go karts, mini motos and scooters, meeting international standards. The complex must attract international events on a regular basis. The park’s administration, in agreement with the government, must allow slots to be used by local enthusiasts for their training.

The complex must provide an educational facility on road safety, parking facilities, spectators’ stands, a media area and must make use of renewable energy.

“Other guidelines which could form part of the projects” include a transport museum, a hotel, administration offices and a facility for repair and maintenances.

Motorsports journalist Pierre Vella said that there was a dire need for such a complex, which however should not remain unutilised when no tournaments are organised.

“The amount of land that will be taken up by this project will be substantial and therefore it must be both productive and economically feasible,” he told MaltaToday.

According to Vella, the complex can serve as “a brilliant opportunity” to teach people how to drive.

“Our driving tests take place on busy roads. With such a complex, we could train drivers for different scenarios by creating different environments: what to do if it’s raining or if the road is slippery,” he said.

Vella added that the whole project “won’t work if it will simply address amateur racing”.

Interested investors may collect the document from the Privatisation Unit, which will receive submissions until 20 January 2016.