Race Track – 45 sena Tard

Thursday, December 27, 2012, 10:00

On 19th December 1967, the Malta Automobile & Cycle Racing Association (MACRA) submitted a request to the Government of the time for a “permission to make use of Ta’ Qali Airstrip for a period of one month for the purpose of holding motor-car racing”.


The request was made so that Malta could promote the Malta Grand Prix with Formula 3 single-seater racing cars, which could subsequently also be held with Formula Ford single-seater racing cars.


Behind this proposal was John Webb, the Managing Director of Motor Racing Developments, which owned Brands Hatch Circuit and other British Circuits. The British Grand Prix used to be held at Brands Hatch Circuit on alternate years with Silverstone Circuit for a number of years.


On 17th February 1968, the Office of the Prime Minister had the pleasure to inform MACRA (reference OPM 1217/65) that its request had been favourably entertained subject to four conditions.


The first condition was that it would be ascertained in the first instance that the road-surface at Ta’ Qali was suitable for car-racing. This condition was met as John Webb visited Malta and accompanied the Director of the Public Works Department of that time and toured the runway and perimeter tracks at a certain speed with an Alfa Romeo. The road-surface was perfect at that time.


The third condition was that “no exemption from entertainment duty is (was) granted”. In those days football matches had a preferential entertainment duty of 25% instead of 33% charged to other sport disciplines and other performances. MACRA had requested a concession to be charged at the football rate considering the expenses involved in bringing a fleet of racing cars to Malta, and rendering the temporary circuit safe for both drivers and spectators.


The fourth condition was that it was clearly understood that such permission did not in any way commit the Government to grant similar permissions in the future. MACRA accepted the third condition because it had no choice, and accepted the fourth condition because it knew that the event was going to be so successful that the Government would ask it to continue promoting similar events.

1 Comment

  1. jeffrey says:

    About time


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