Malta Motorsport Federation president Duncan Micallef said the motor racing track project is set to give the sport a new impetus that will help young drivers aspire for a professional career.
Micallef was speaking to the Times of Malta during the official inauguration of the motor racing track project that was announced on Monday by Prime Minister Robert Abela.
The €20 million project is set to be built around similar, existing facilities in Ħal Far that would now see a racing circuit added to the existing facilities for karting and drag racing.
“Before I took over as president of the Malta Motorsport Federation it was always my desire to be in a position so that I can give a helping hand to make this dream a reality,” Micallef told the Times of Malta.
“I am honoured that the MMF members and the affiliated federations gave me the opportunity to be in this position and put forward my proposals so that we could make this project happen.
“I’m feeling very emotional now, as this announcement has brought a lot of joy to thousands of motor racing enthusiasts in Malta. From now on we have just one target in mind that to ensure that Maltese motor sport continues to be successful in international competition and make Malta proud with its achievements.
“Our goal is that with the racing track project we will be in a position to help our young drivers to drive in a professional manner and help them dream that this could be their professional career in the future.”
Asked to give more details on how they are planning to manage the facilities, Micallef said that local governing body’s long-term goal is to set up a national motor racing school that can help them groom future champions.
“At present, we have to facilities here at Ħal Far, a drag racing circuit and a karting track,” Micallef said.
“The motor racing track will be built in between the two current facilities. All three circuits will function separately and will be certified by the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) so that we can be able to train our young drivers on a professional basis and also host international competitions.
“We are planning to issue an expression of interest to private companies who want to contribute to this project and help us generate funds so that we can set up a motor racing school that can take our sport to another level.”
The MMF president revealed that should the motor racing track project is completed by the end of 2022, Malta has already been confirmed as hosts of one of the legs of the 2023 FIA European Drag Racing Championship.
Micallef said that the project will have a very positive impact on the Maltese economy.
“We are planning to employ full-time personnel to work in the racing track,” the MMF president said.
“Added to that our volunteers will also be sent abroad to undergo training with the FIA so that they will be able to administer the facilities.
“The motor racing track is the only project in Europe that will have three circuits, one of drag racing, another of karting, and circuit racing. Therefore, we need to have a professional set-up so that when they receive an invitation from the FIA to officiate international events away from our shores they will be well prepared.”
Motor racing enthusiasts have been waiting for several years so that this project is finally realised but the MMF president said that this time around there will be no delay for the project to get underway.
“The Prime Minister personally sent me a private message saying: ‘Duncan it is important that the works on the racing project have to get underway as soon as possible as the funds are already there’, so this project is going to happen,” Micallef said.
“Today, I have personally submitted the application of the project to the Planning Authority as well so now there is no way back. This project is going to happen in full collaboration with the government and with the full blessing of the authorities.”