In the wake of the recent tragic incident at the annual Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina charity motorshow which left numerous onlookers injured, some motor enthusiasts are calling this a sign that Malta desperately needs professional motorsport facilities. Meanwhile, the rest of us non-motorsport enthusiasts are trying to make sense of this argument (is it even an argument?), and cannot help but feel exasperated in the face of such insensitivity and ignorance.
I absolutely take umbrage at certain comments made by members of the general public. I am aware that one should take the comment sections under newspaper articles with a kilo of salt, but sometimes I cannot help but sigh deeply at the level of ignorance with which some people choose to present their arguments.
The only thing that this accident proves is that accidents happen when you least expect them. Making statements about crash barriers, driving skills, event organisation skills, proper motorsport facilities, and any other issue is futile and only exposes how insensitive certain people are in the face of tragedy.
While the injured and their relatives, those that witnessed the event, organisers, and other affected third parties come to grips with the aftermath oft his horrific incident, motorsport enthusiasts seems to believe that this is the perfect opportunity for a spot of self-promotion and sanctification.
Comments such as those of George Abdilla, former secretary general of the Malta Motorsport Federation, point to this and also expose that the MMF wants to distance itself from such incidents since they will be eventually be getting their precious motorsport track. Mr Abdilla said that:
“If we had a track with proper facilities this would not have happened, or else the consequences would have been lessened”.
This comment has been profusely echoed by various motorsport enthusiasts across social media and online comment sections. It is just appalling. There is a time and a place for an open discussion about the motorsport track, but this incident is certainly not the appropriate one.
So please put aside your lifelong dream of having a motorsport track on which you may play with your toys, and spare a thought for those involved in last Sunday’s tragedy.