Mellaha Lake RSS

Tripoli, Libya, Libya

  • Circuit Length 13.140kms
  • Circuit Direction Clockwise
  • Unused Since 1940
  • Established 1933

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The Mellaha Lake circuit, around 10 miles outside Tripoli, was built as a showcase of Italian imperialism and funded by an ambitious state lottery which raised much of the construction cost. Located in a salt basin, the surroundings were spartan but the venue itself had state-of-the-art facilities with electronic timing and starting lights among the features, as well as a covered grandstand which could seat 10,000. It was described by Dick Seaman as "The Ascot of motor racing circuits".

It opened in 1933 with one of motor-racing's most controversial races, Achille Varzi's win being forever - and wrongly - associated with accusations of race rigging. He won three of the eight races held there between 1933 and 1940, but the circuit was not used after that time.

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