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Tags:   Outdoors,   Cars,   Motor-racing

By The Swag Team   -  October 09, 2014

As we reported on SWAG some weeks ago, the streets around Mdina will become a treasure trove for motoring enthusiasts as a spectacular collection of Maltese and foreign-registered vintage and classic racing cars will take part in the various events related to this year’s Malta Classic Grand Prix between today and Sunday.


Thursday will see the Mtaħleb hill climb and barbeque taking place till 4pm.


Friday will see the Mdina Glass Concours d’Elegance event from 11am to 4pm. It will be held in Cathedral Square, Mdina. A festive atmosphere is guaranteed, with music and owners in period attire.


Practice on the 2.2 kilometre track below the Mdina bastions in Mtarfa valley starts on Saturday at 9am and concludes at 4pm. The exciting circuit includes fast straights mixed with demanding corners. 


Sunday will be a packed day, with many cars participating in the actual race. Each group will have two runs in the morning and two in the afternoon.


As an added attraction, the Malta Aviation Museum’s 1930's vintage Tiger Moth biplane will buzz the spectators present in Mtarfa valley on Saturday and Sunday between 12.30 and 1pm.


More details and updates can be obtained from:  www.vallettagrandprix.com.


The Valletta Grand Prix Foundation’s PR & Marketing Manager Ivan Bartolo is 43 and very passionate about cars. He became infatuated with them when he was given a red Ferrari pedal car at age three by his father. His parents recall that he couldn’t sleep for days with the excitement it brought him. Ivan’s dream car is the Ferrari 250 GTO. SWAG asked him some questions about the event’s background.


How did the whole thing start?


It started as a dream that was put into gear with the first event held in the streets around Valletta in 2009. It has now become a prestigious annual event that we have moved to the Mdina area for logistical reasons.


It is becoming internationally renowned with participants from all over Europe. The event was a first for Malta and the fact that foreign participants come to take part illustrates its high standards. Previous events have received major coverage in the international classic motorsport press.


How do Maltese drivers usually do in this GP?


They have always done well during most of the past events, but participation from abroad is getting bigger and tougher each year, with great names from the international classic racing scene like Guy Broad and John Burton regularly coming over.


How does the Malta event compare with the famous ones abroad – Mille Miglia, London to Brighton and so on?


When the Grand Prix was held in Valletta in 2009 and 2010, it was compared to Monte Carlo, but we are not trying to imitate anyone. What is unique about us is that one is racing around a city built in the 13th Century. We are confident that the circuit below Mdina will provide an unforgettable experience for everyone.


Is there a prize or is it just for prestige?


There are beautifully crafted glass trophies by Mdina Glass (one of our sponsors) for first, second and third places in each class plus the overall winner trophy. The overall winner will also receive a very prestigious Chopard Mille Miglia 2014 watch.


Do Maltese go abroad with their cars and participate too?


It’s not yet a trend with classic cars, although for those who have a specially prepared classic racer that is the only way to use it apart for the Mdina GP. But we can see this already happening in other of motorsport disciplines with respectable results.


What safety measures does the Foundation take?


The event is carried out under international safety standards. Risk assessment is professionally carried out by independent companies before the event. We have professional teams taking care of fire, medical and logistic divisions and stewards with experience in international track and rally events.


What else is there to look forward to apart from the cars this year?


The Valletta Grand Prix Foundation has, for this year's Mdina Grand Prix, teamed up with the Malta Aviation Museum who will be flying their Tiger Moth over the GP circuit during the Mdina Grand Prix on Saturday and Sunday.

The Tiger Moth is probably the RAF's most well known trainer aircraft that entered service in the early 1930s. It remained in service till the early 1950s. Some 250 airworthy examples survive out of some 8600 built.


The Aviation Museum acquired its Tiger Moth in 2000 and restored it back to an airworthy condition by 2009. The condition of the aircraft is a worthy testament to the extremely high quality of the workmanship provided by the Museum's technical staff who, like us, are all volunteers. The Moth last flew in 2011, and this event will once again see this graceful aircraft back where she belongs - in the air.

Clive Denney, who is a licensed display pilot with thousands of hours on vintage aircraft will be performing the aerobatic displays.

The Valletta Grand Prix Foundation would like to thank the Malta Tourism Authority, the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure, the Malta Council for Sport, and Transport Malta, as well as the Mdina, Rabat and Mtarfa local councils and all the sponsors (click here) for their assistance.




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