Calls for the construction of a local car-racing track have been revived after an anti-street racing roadblock made up of civilian and police cars led to the injury of eight people on the Kwun Tong bypass last month. Supporters of the plan say an affordable race track would provide a safe venue for local racers to indulge their passion, while removing dangerous behaviour from public roads. According to a street-racer-turned-track-competitor with more than 20 years' street-racing experience: 'It'll stop a lot of street racing because most people will opt for the track where it's safer and sanctioned,' he said, speaking to the Young Post under the condition of anonymity. 'Cops chasing after cars is not the answer because racers who don't want to be caught will up the ante, running red lights and stop signs,' he said. He added racers would simply shift locations, sending out scouts to check up on sites before races. A legal race track could also bring in money for the government, the driver said. 'With a track, the government makes money. It'll attract motor sport tourism business and racers have a place to go.' According to the police, there were 372 anti-illegal driving operations last year with 12,080 arrests. Local racers come from all walks of life, with varying levels of education. But they share a love of fast cars and are overwhelmingly 'boys who like their toys' types. They are also slightly older than their international counterparts, as vehicle ownership is more expensive in Hong Kong. To date, the government has no concrete plans for a local track, steering racers to mainland options such as the Zhuhai ( ) International Racetrack - this can cost up to HK$18,000 per car for two days. But those who can't afford this stick to popular local haunts such as the back roads of Tai Mo Shan and Luk Keng or the highways to Fanling and Tuen Mun. John Koh, vice-chairman of the Supercar Club Hong Kong, an affiliate of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, which organises legitimate races for Hong Kong sport car drivers, said the city does have suitable track locations. 'Tung Chung, the area near Disneyland Park and North New Territories are possible locations ... They are remote, so having a track there would minimise the impact on others,' he said. In 2004, the Hong Kong Automobile Association won the support of the Home Affairs Bureau for a proposed 30,000-seat Formula Three circuit on Lantau Island. But despite site visits by officials and associations, the government has still not given the project the green light, saying it needs more time to study such plans. 'Building a car racing track in Hong Kong involves a series of questions, such as land use, possible noise impact and the group of end user it is catered for,' said a spokeswoman for the Commerce and Economic Bureau. 'There must be thorough discussions by various community parties before planning.' A small track with basic pit stations and safety facilities could make for a good venue, Mr Koh said. 'When [there are] no racing events, the track can be used for other purposes such as concerts, cycling races or even promotional campaigns on road safety. If we look at the calendars of Malaysia's and Zhuhai's tracks, we will see that's how foreign race tracks operate.'