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Malta Motorsport disappointed by local councils’ opposition to Mdina Grand Prix

The Malta Motorsport Federation expressed its disappointment after three local councils said on Thursday that they were opposed to the return of the Mdina Grand Prix, a race of vintage cars, on their roads.

On Thursday, the councils of Mtarfa, Rabat and Mdina said they were against the holding of the Mdina Grand Prix, which is due to return to its usual venue in the valley between Rabat and Mtarfa after a two-year hiatus caused by COVID-19. The event also features a concourse d’elegance – a static show of classic cars – in Mdina’s cathedral square. 

The councils said they had nothing ‘in principle’ against the activity or its organisers, but they wanted the event to be moved elsewhere because of the inconvenience caused to residents and the dangers caused by traffic congestion.

“The Malta Motorsport Federation is highly disappointed with the reports published in the media yesterday that the Mdina, Rabat and Mtarfa local councils turned against the prestigious event organised in the outskirts of their localities,” the MMF said in a statement.

“Previous editions of the Malta Grand Prix proved that the meticulously planned event by the Malta Grand Prix Foundation leaves the very minimum impact possible on the area. The councils said they are against holding the Mdina Grand Prix, while in principle not against the activity or its organisers.

“If this was the case, the councils should be honoured that such a prestigious, internationally renowned event is held in the periphery of their localities. It is incredibly irresponsible for the councils to say that they want the two-day event to happen elsewhere as they must attract high-level events to their villages, towns, cities and regions.

“Such events give prestige to the localities and put them on the international map, something the councils should be doing themselves and not harming voluntary organisations hosting such events.

“Like in all other events of lesser importance organised in every locality, including in village cores not in the periphery, being a temporary traditional, cultural, and temporary or permanent commercial event brings minimal inconvenience to the residents in the area and traffic congestion but surely no danger.”

The MMF concluded its statement by appealing to all concerned parties so that common sense will prevail, and the event will be held as scheduled.

“The Malta Motorsport Federation augurs that common sense prevails and all involved do their part with responsibility towards each other, being its member the Malta Grand Prix Foundation, the local councils, other authorities, the classic motorsport community and ultimately the local and foreign people to follow such event in person and on social media,” the MMF statement said.

“Moreover, it is the best way to promote Malta to an ever-growing international community of high-level tourists.

“According to a report by the Centre of Economics and Business Research of the United Kingdom, the historic and classic motor industry turns over £18.3bn and employs 113,000 people. These findings are separate from those released by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.

“However, it acknowledges and confirms the one published by the FBHVC. These tourists, the Mdina, Rabat, and Mtarfa, want to turn away from Malta, their localities and businesses in their areas.”

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