The Motor City circuit is a permanent racing circuit designed to FIA and FIM standards, which opened in 2018 and has grand plans to become the centre of the Israeli motorsports and automotive industries.
Located just north of the city of Be'er-Sheva in the southern Negev desert, the Motor City claims to have the best year-round weather conditions of any track in the world.
The initial plans called for an international tourist centre, complete with hotels, car showrooms and a kart circuit, though to date the track remains a work in progress, without even pit buildings having been constructed. Should funding allow, an extension to form a 4.5km circuit will be completed, in order to attract international racing.
Plans for a circuit designed to kick start Israel’s motorsport scene were first floated in 2005, but it took a further 13 years for the project to become a reality.
The track was developed in collaboration between its Israeli investors and the Varano Circuit in Italy, whose staff designed the new track’s layout. Short and relatively flat, it has fast sweeping corners with plenty of run-off available and a layout that resembles a mini-Zandvoort.
The 2.1km circuit has been built in line with FIA and FIM regulations and is aiming for homologation once the required additional infrastructure is built up. Currently it comprises the basic infrastructure to allow racing to take place, albeit with no pit garages and no real spectator amenities; these are set to follow later. For now, anyone watching the racing really needs to do so from the shade of the pit-side awnings that teams erect when events take place.
Nevertheless, the track has proved popular since opening in May 2022, when local racing stars Alon Day and Yarin Stern lapped the track in Israeli-designed Griiip G1 single seaters. The pair are instructors at the circuit’s racing school, hoping to bring forward a new generation of Israeli racers.
For while the longer term, the track has plans to expand and make itself a centre for the Israeli racing industry, hoping to cash in on the proximity of Be’er-Sheva and its high-tech and developing technology industries. Indeed, it is hoped that Griiip may one day re-locate to the circuit; currently its cars are built in Italy.
The ambitious development project envisages hotels, car showrooms, a 15,000 seat grandstand and pit buildings, as well as an extension that would see the circuit reach 4.5km in length.
In the meantime, the track has hosted national-level races on two and four wheels and is a popular venue for track day events.