The Autodromo Valle dei Templi at Racalmuto is the third of Sicily's permanent circuit's, providing a welcome addition to the local motoring scene. The small facility in the historic 'Valley of the Temples' area has carved out a useful niche as a bustling club racing, test and track day facility, with good facilities and a family feel about it.
Among the higher-profile races conducted here are the FIM Regional Speed Championships and the Trofei Malossi scooter racing series. On four wheels Time Attack Sicily has multiple visits per year, while a historic meeting also takes place in May.
Plans for a course near Racalmuto were first mooted in 1998, when designs for a sinuous 1.8 mile course were shown off. Winding back and forth upon itself it resembled an over-sized kart circuit, so perhaps it was just as well that these proposals never came to completion. By 2004, a revised plan was put forward, which more closely resembled the current circuit and would have measured around 1.7 miles in length.
Final revisions to the circuit plans resulted in a shorter 1.572-mile course and construction began in March 2004 and the track surface itself was largely complete by July. By September the complex – which also includes a small 24-room hotel and restaurant next to the paddock – is nearing completion, though it would not be until 2005 that the full facility is ready for use. Alongside the pit building is a 2,500 seat grandstand, though the whole course is also visible from the hillsides surrounding the track. The first motorbike and car tests took place later in 2005, with racing beginning the following year.
The circuit owners have taken a sensible approach, beginning modestly rather than being overambitious with the business. Nevertheless, there is scope for future expansion, as further land is owned which could be utilised to extend the course.
As well as local club racing, the circuit organises a popular historic motoring meeting, a summer motorbike festival and numerous track days, while safe driving schools are also held regularly. The on-site hotel, bar and restaurant, complete with conferencing facilities, means that Racalmuto is also frequently used for manufacturer and other promotional days.