Letters From Readers - News From Tripoli, May 2000




Regarding the Mellaha Circuit near Tripoli, I lived in that city for five years during the 1960s, and on several occasions tried to locate what remained of the circuit then.

During the 1950s, the USAF Wheelus Air Base had been built in the Mellaha and Suq al Juma areas to the east of Tripoli. Sadly most of the old racing circuit disappeared then and those parts which were not destroyed existed mainly inside the perimeter of the base. As far as I can recall, the only portion remaining outside the perimeter, was in the vicinity of the Wheelus Golf Club to the west of the base. This was a north-south straight of several hundred metres length with a steeply super-elevated 90 deg curve at the southern end, leading into a straight which ended abruptly at the perimeter wall. On the southern side of the base, outside the wall, there was a length of road with buildings alongside, and I was told that these had been the pits, although the photographs in George Monlchouse’s books bore little similarity to the buildings.

The Revolution took place not long after I left Tripoli, and I have no idea of what became of the base or the remnants of the circuit after that.

I am, yours, etc.
B J Rodgers, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman