The dream of every motorsport enthusiast in Malta to have a motor racing track moved a step closer on Tuesday.
In fact, SportMalta and the National Development and Social Fund signed an agreement with the Malta Motorsport Federation that would see the first €16 million passed to the governing body so that the works on the project can start.
The Motor Racing Track project had been announced last September by Prime Minister Robert Abela who had said that the €20 million project would be built around similar, existing facilities in Ħal Far.
The plan is to upgrade existing drag racing and karting facilities in the area while also building a racetrack close to them.
“Today is an important day for the Maltese motorsport enthusiasts as their dream of having a top-quality racetrack has moved a step closer,” Clifton Grima, the Minister for Sport and Education told a news conference.
“The agreement will see the first €16 million of funds provided by the National Development and Social Fund to start the works on the project, once the necessary permits are issued by the Planning Authority.
“The project will bring with it a substantial upgrade to the current drag racing facilities that have existed for several years while also will improve the karting facilities that attract to it hundreds of youngsters who use these facilities to improve their driving skills.
“It was not an easy journey to arrive at this signing of the agreement but the government has worked diligently to ensure that keep the promise we made to the thousands of motorsport enthusiasts in Malta.
“This project is a major statement from the government that proves how much sport ranks high on the agenda of our country and I look forward that in the next weeks and months we will finally get the necessary construction works under way.”
On his part, Alex Muscat, the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship, said that he was positively surprised on the huge popularity of motorsport in Malta and said that this project will also provide a huge boost to the country’s finances.
“It’s impressive to see the great popularity motorsport enjoys in Malta,” Muscat said.
“This is a huge project that will boost not only sport in Malta but also will give a strong return to our economy as it is expected to generate more than 300 new jobs.”
On his part, Duncan Micallef, the president of the Malta Motorsport Federation, thanked the government, the NDSF and SportMalta for their continued support.
“We are grateful to the government, NDSF and SportMalta for all their support as since the start of this journey I never felt alone,” Micallef said.
“This project is a strong recognition by the government towards our sport and our goal is that through the new motor racing track we will be able to help our young drivers to nurture their talent and hopefully produce our future champions in our sport.”