The Malta Classic (formerly the Mdina Grand Prix) has launched a call for participants and sponsors, whilst announcing this year’s event dates (6-9th October) and a new brand identity. The announcement was made today at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa.
The Malta Classic is a four-day classic car and lifestyle event celebrating vintage style against a historic backdrop. A new brand and enhancements to the event programme are intended to raise the profile of this event in Malta and beyond. This latest announcement is part of the natural evolution of this prestigious event, now entering its sixth consecutive year.
This year, the Malta Classic welcomes over 70 participants from England, Italy, France, Malta and Switzerland. A variety of notable makes will form the grid this year, including Riley, Alvis, Ferrari, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Talbot. The organising committee is also accepting expressions of interest from non-member, classic enthusiasts wishing to participate.
At today’s press conference, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi said that what has once started as a dream for a group of passionate local car enthusiasts today has become a story of success, an annual renowned event that is recognised not just locally but also by classic car enthusiasts from abroad. Minister Mizzi also reiterated the Government’s commitment to the local motoring scene in its important role not just to strengthen the tourism sector but also to contribute to the country’s economy.
CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority Mr. Paul Bugeja said the Authority is proud to support the Malta Classic by marketing it in all countries in which it is represented. “Travel operators keep asking us for a wide range of varied activities and events that they in turn can offer to their clients, and the Malta Classic has successfully evolved into one of the most popular events throughout the years,” said Mr. Bugeja. “This event has a particular lure to it as it combines history with sports, the old and the new, attracting old and young alike, the rich and the less affluent, whilst at the same time elevating tiny Malta to international levels.’’
This four-day event offers a thrilling and entertaining programme for enthusiasts, families and foreign visitors. On Thursday, 6th October the Malta Classic opens with the Hill Climb. “The Pennellu hill has been chosen again as a venue for the hillclimb, after which we will be having a party for visiting overseas drivers in Mellieha,” said Charles A. Zahra, Secretary of the Valletta Grand Prix Foundation. On Friday, 7th October the Malta Classic Concours d’Elegance celebrates the power and beauty of classics in the heart of Mdina, where select car collectors are invited to unveil their historic cars. Entertainment, period dress and refreshments add to the delight of visitors.
On Saturday, 8th October the challenging circuit outside Mdina’s fortifications awaits during timed drives that determine the starting order of Sunday’s grid. On Sunday, 9th October the thrilling races begin, as the unforgiving nature of the Malta Classic Grand Prix circuit brings out the very best performances by car and driver. The weekend draws to a close with an awards ceremony hosted at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa.
“For the third consecutive year, we at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa are thrilled to be sponsoring the Malta Classic, an event synonymous with charm and elegance,” says general manager David Woodward. “As the Malta Classic brand continues to evolve, it fits ever-better with our own dedication to celebrating and providing the very best things in life, from top-quality food and wine, to excellent service, accommodation and events. As always, we look forward to the exciting results that Malta Classic brings.”
In October 2007 French entrepreneur and classic car enthusiast Thierry Giovannini organised Malta’s first ever Classic Car Grand Prix on the ring road of Valletta, bringing some of Europe’s finest classic cars to Malta to tour the island and race wheel to wheel on the Valletta circuit. In April 2009, enthusiasts brought together by this event set up the Valletta Grand Prix Foundation to carry on what Giovannini had started. In 2011 the event was transferred to its current home in Mdina.
Last year’s event featured more than 60 pre-1976 cars, with a number of participants arriving from international locales as far away as Australia. The winner of the 2016 Grand Prix was Roberto Farneti (Ravenna, Italy) driving a Lotus 23B 1963.
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