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Maltese drivers strike success at the Time Attack Championship in Racalmuto

The last round of the “Time Attack Championship” was held at Autodromo Valle Dei Templi at Racalmuto in Sicily last weekend.

Fifty-two Maltese drivers were among the 300 from various countries who competed in this 11th championship. The Maltese flag was present on every podium, and Maltese drivers won four classes.

The Racalmuto Time Attack Championship was the “baby” of young, 38-year-old circuit director Dr Michelangelo Romano, the main driving force behind Sicily’s most successful motor racing circuit in the last decade.

Daniel Montebello raced at Racalmuto for several years now and won two classes in this year’s championship in his Nissan GTR and his Mitsubishi EVO in the Stock and Pro groups, respectively.

This season, he scored 400 title points out of a possible 700, driving his highly-modified Mitsubishi EVO, race-prepared entirely by his brother Miguel. Second was Simon Camilleri in the Pro 4 wheel drive category, also driving a quick Mitsubishi EVO.

Johann Spiteri, driving Aldo Laferla’s Mitsubishi EVO in the “Open” group for highly modified four-wheel-drive cars, also won his class, a class dominated entirely by Maltese competitors.

Tarcy Cassar finished second in class, also driving a super-fast Mitsubishi EVO, and Ronnie Mercieca took the bronze driving his Subaru Impreza.

All three Maltese racers finished the seven-round championship on equal points. Spiteri made the quickest lap of the class, at 1 minute and eight seconds.

The fourth Maltese winner was veteran Joe Anastasi, who topped the Open 1600 class with 490 championship points with 30 competitors.

2021 is the fifth year in succession in which “John Bull”, known within the local motorsport fraternity, has won this class in the championship. Joe drove a highly modified, self prepared Mini, as he has done for the last 57 years.

Nikolai Degiorgio beat another nine competitors in the “Stock Road Cars” to place an excellent third in his Alfa Romeo Stelvio, whilst in the “Open Racing” class, Lawrence Grixti finished the championship in a superb second place in his impressively quick Mazda RX7.

Grixti is expected back next year with an even bigger and better RX7 next season.

Driving their Honda Civic cars in various states of tune, two newcomers Darren Formosa and Luke Schembri, succeeded in every competition class.

Young Formosa placed an excellent third in the 2 litre Pro category among ten competitors, whilst Schembri placed third in the Open 2-litre class from 13 competitors.

At the end of last Sunday’s awards presentation ceremony, Dr Romano presented three special awards to the three oldest regular drivers in the championship.

Among these were two Maltese Drivers, Aldo Laferla – vintage 1933, and Joe Anastasi – vintage 1946.

A lovely gesture and one of the reasons the Autodromo Valle Dei Templi is held in such high esteem by so many motorsport enthusiasts.


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