An application for a two-kilometre race track at Ħal Far and the upgrading of existing go-karting and drag-racing circuits have been submitted with the planning authority.

The project should be completed by November of next year. If all goes according to plan, in April 2023, Malta will host one leg of the FIA European drag racing championship, Malta Motorsport Federation president Duncan Micallef told a press conference on Monday. 

The federation has been lobbying for the racetrack for a long time and a track was one of Labour's electoral promises ahead of the 2017 election.

But motoring enthusiasts' plans appeared to have been dashed in 2019, when their proposal for such a track was shot down by the government.

The building of a €20 million project in Ħal Far, funded through the sale of Maltese passports, was announced by Robert Abela on Monday morning.

Later in the day, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat said the sum was more than triple the initial proposal, however, the government was committed to the investment. 

"The investment will generate 220 full-time jobs and, in the long run, the €20 million will be recovered," he told the press conference.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sports Clifton Grima meanwhile noted that the sports facility, measuring 80,000 square metres, will be the best in the Mediterranean.

It will be built on government land within the development zone, and will not touch agricultural land, he promised.

Grima said that proposals that the government had received in the past would have impacted residents and the environment.

The current proposal was based on several studies, he said, adding that sound barriers will also be installed around the facility. 

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