Grand Prix de Malte round Valletta
One of the Grand Prix classic cars on the Valletta ring road
Valletta’s ring road attracted hundreds of car enthusiasts as it transformed itself into a racing track that hosted the Grand Prix de Malte.
Several sports cars, two-seater racers and other classic cars built between 1910 and 1975 took part. There also were single-seater racing cars dating between the 1930s to the early 1960s.
Crowds lined the barriers that trimmed the outskirts of the capital to watch and photograph the tough race that was won by a baby blue Ford.
The Valletta bus terminus looked like the set of an old film as buses were replaced by the classic gems. It was from there that the cars set off during the time trials and the race. They then drove past the roundabout leading to Gilormu Cassar road, turned down towards Boffa Hospital, drove round the ring road and returned to the bus terminus by passing in front of the Phoenicia Hotel.
Meanwhile, police were busy ensuring that everything ran smoothly as traffic, buses, taxis, mini-buses and karozzini had to be re-routed.
Speaking to The Times, Valletta mayor Paul Borg Olivier was quoted as saying that the event was a great success. He said foreign drivers reported that the circuit was better than the one at Monte Carlo. The latter circuit is 4.7 kilometres long while the one in Valletta is 4.3 kilometres.
"It was a successful event which is a niche for the tourism industry. There were bus-loads of tourists here. This is what branding Malta is all about," he said.