120 million euro to be invested in Malta

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 3:06

by Alfred Farrugia

A foreign consortium based in an international racing circuit abroad – the home of a Formula One Grand Prix – is waiting for the nod of the authorities to start seeking 120 million euro from its partners to invest in Malta. Charles Bellia and Frans Deguara have succeeded to attract this consortium to consider Malta as an auto racing venue.

 

The members of this consortium have the necessary expertise and experience in different business sectors, including motorsports and other projects around the world, to develop a permanent racing circuit in Malta, together with other related developments.

 

The authorities have recently revealed how many hotel projects are in the pipeline. They can add another hotel and possibly more, because this foreign consortium is interested in adding the bed capacity in Malta to make sure that when its major events are held in Malta there will be enough space to host foreign guests.

 

The proposal of this consortium is not restricted to one major racing meeting each year. On the contrary, this expert team is working on a whole stream of events that would keep all the hotels in Malta – including their own – busy practically every weekend of the year including the shoulder months and low season.

 

Sports tourism in Malta will get a new meaning when the project of this foreign consortium is given the go ahead from the authorities. Considering that the investment projected is higher than the initial one earmarked for Malta’s own Parliament, the economic benefits that will flow from such a proposal cannot be underestimated.

 

The employment generated through this project will not last solely until the racing circuit and the hotel(s) are built. On the contrary, continuous employment will be generated once the various phases of this proposal are completed.

 

The proposal of this foreign consortium will generate other economic ripple effects, within the racing circuit and outside. A professional racing drivers school will attract groups of foreign students during the week every month. Manufacturers of racing cars will be attracted to Malta to either test their cars or to build them here, or both.

 

 

 

A manufacturer of racing cars in South Africa would have already shifted his plant to Malta if we had a decent racing circuit. Others will certainly do the same once the proposal of the international consortium is implemented in Malta. The consortium is prepared to invest in a technical facility of its own. Other facilities for driver education away from congested traffic for learner drivers will also be provided to motoring schools.

 

The beauty of this proposal is that it does not depend on financial outlays from the government or the Malta Sports Council (KMS), but the investment is procured from the foreign private sector – bringing foreign exchange to Malta. It would of course need the support of the authorities to allocate to it an appropriate site, as has been promised in at least one electoral programme.

 

If there is a sports discipline in Malta where our athletes perform better than average – and sometimes excel – that discipline is motor sports. The proposal of this international consortium will definitely exploit Malta’s talent to the full, and Malta’s name in international auto racing circles will be established once and for all.

 

After the local drag racing teams have led the way at the FIA European level, and our young racing drivers have performed well in circuit racing in Sicily and beyond, including in karting, Maltese drivers will begin to climb the ladder in other FIA racing formulae.

 

Malta’s international permanent racing circuit is not expected to host a Formula One Grand Prix. But there are dozens of other Formulae that will attract drivers and motor sport followers from Europe and beyond, including possibly the United States.

 

The road to Indy has several formulae and some of these could be attracted to Malta including the USF2000, Formula Star Mazda and Indy Lights. Instead of the NASCAR Sprint Cup, a qualifying round of the NASCAR Nationwide Series could be hosted.

 

There are a number of European formulae that could be promoted, including the FIA European Formula 3, the GP3 Series, and the GP2 Series. Other formulae restricted to one marque may also be invited such as Formula Ford, Formula BMW, Formula Abarth, and so many others. Renault promotes four different championships – Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Eurocup Megane Trophy, and Eurocup Clio.

 

Then there are several sports racing car, GT and Touring car series in Europe and beyond, such as the FIA World Touring Car Championship and the American Le Mans, and others.

 

This means that those who think that an auto racing circuit might not be economically feasible might have not considered the possibility of inviting such a wide range of different racing cars and drivers two or three times a year to fill a complete racing calendar.

 

In Maltese we have a saying whereby we tend to expect the fig to fall in our mouth. Ironically, the authorities have been clenching their teeth every time a motor racing proposal was offered during the past 45 years, in spite of some electoral and other promises. It is hoped that this time, the fig of 120 million euro offered by this foreign consortium will not be allowed to fall through the cracks.

 





1 Comment

  1. andrew S says:

    i thought you only published newsworthy material? this is a castle in the sky project same as white rocks and marsa- stick to factual sports journalism please.
    thank you

    [Reply]

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