New president Duncan Micallef believes that the main target for the Malta Motorsport Federation is to elevate the sport to a far higher level and that will ultimately convince the authorities that the racetrack project needs to be done quickly.
Micallef was speaking with Times of Malta Sports Editor Valhmor Camilleri in an interview on Sports Talk where he discussed his decision to contest the election of MMF president and his vision for the sport for the future.
“During my career I always aimed to be at the highest level possible and so far, I believed that I managed to do that,” Micallef said.
“The passion is bigger than what I want to achieve and that pushes you to look at new challenges that can help the sport that you love to grow further.
“For the past year I have been thinking seriously to get involved in the MMF administration and give my helping hand. The reason is because since until this very day I’m still active in my career and I am continuously in contact with the drivers, committee members and parents of children who practice the sport who give their feedback on the situation of the sport and it was here where I felt the need to get involved.
“There were a lot of persons who encouraged me to go for this position and with my family fully behind me I decided to go for it.”
Micallef said that prior to his election he met all the clubs affiliated with the federation to see where he could provide his support and said that the sport deserves much more promotion.
“I believe that I can help Maltese Motorsport reach new heights,” Micallef said.
“Unfortunately, here in Malta motorsport in Malta is not so popular as other sport and that is not correct and that is one area that I want to address together with my fellow committee members.
“There is still a lot of work to be done before we can promote Maltese motorsport in the right way. We cannot start promoting the sport if it has yet to reach the levels that it deserves to be. What is going to happen is that we will be meeting with all the clubs, see what their needs are, and aim high.
“After that we create a business study for each club and those who don’t have a place to meet we try and give them one. It’s here that we are going to meet the government to try and help us and in return we are going to tell him that once you complete this investment we are going to inform him of what motorsport can give him back.
“Our aim at the end of the day is not only to provide assistance to the passionate motorsport enthusiasts but also to ensure that our sport is self-sustainable and that every end of year we have to wait for the government to see how much he can give us in financial support, which is never enough.
“Once our new set up will be working we will be working to get sponsors but to attract such assistance you need to have a good product to sell. If we attain a good level, then we can have a PR that will publicise motorsport to all the public.”
The racing track project has been discussed for several years now, and it has been included on the political manifesto of both political parties but so far very little has been done.
Asked whether he feels that Maltese motorsport enthusiasts have been waiting far too much for this project to be done, Micallef said: “This is a delicate subject, and I don’t want to point fingers against nobody.
“A lot has been done on the racing track project, in terms of planning and site search.
“Genuinely I believe that there was always the intention of realizing this project. But, from the experience I have, you need to go through so many channels that depend on persons, entities, politics, and environment issues so it’s a tough route.
“I would like to thank to all those who worked on this project but from my end while we will keep pushing so that this project can be done, if Maltese motorsports shows tangibly how big this sport is, the pressure will continue to grow so that the authorities will have no options but to do keep their promise and make this project happen.
“There is also the possibility that until we have a person who is the decision-maker on the racing track project who says its time that we take a decision.
“What I believe is that we do not need a Formula 1 track but primarily a venue good enough so that our young drivers can train and reach a level that when they compete abroad they can be competitive. That balance is not easy to find but where there is a will there is a way.”