4 Maltese karting drivers compete for the Kart Sicily Trophy at Trisicna

Thursday, February 9, 2012, 18:01

by Alfred A. Farrugia

Adrian Cauchi (Virtu Ferries), Clayton Mizzi, Gianluca Dingli and Billy Grech have successfully participated in the opening round of the Kart Sicily Trophy at the Triscina Circuit near Trapani the other weekend (Sunday, 29 January 2012).

It is not very frequent that 4 karting drivers take part in the same karting event in Sicily together. It is likely that this is the result of the withdrawal of the temporary permit by the Malta Industrial Parks Ltd. at Hal Far to the Island Karting Club at the beginning of last September.

Is it possible that a Chairman or a Chief Executive Officer of a public corporation is more powerful than the Cabinet Minister that appointed him, or another Cabinet Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary for Sports? Or is there some other less obvious explanation for preventing the Island Karting Club from promoting its karting championship for 5 months on a temporary track in a dead end at Hal Far?

This year one of the categories in the 125 karting series was changed by moving the age limit from 30 years to 32 years. As a result the Malta Karting Champion 2011 Adrian Cauchi found himself competing in the under 32 class instead of the customary over 30 class. Had this change not taken place, Adrian would have finished second in class in the final race at Triscina. Instead he placed 4th in class and 5th overall.

Unfortunately, Adrian driving his former Virtu Ferries Birel had engine mechanical problems in the first round, and time was too short to identify the cause of the problem – a misfiring engine and a broken crank oil seal. He recorded his best lap of 50.634 seconds in the official practice session, and could not improve his time in the pre-final and final races. In the pre-final race he was 5th in class.

This was still an improvement over his previous race at the same circuit last year when he finished 6th overall, and recorded a time of 50.708 seconds.  Adrian is looking forward to his next race when he hopes to deliver a better result with a properly functioning kart.

92.941 km/hr

Clayton Mizzi had a completely different and positive experience. He succeeded to register a time of 49.580 seconds at a speed of 92.941 km per hour in official practice to claim pole position among 14 starters of under and over 32-years of age race kart drivers. Clayton went on to win his class and finish 2nd overall in the final race recording the fastest lap with a time of 50.388 seconds at a speed of 91.450 km/hr. He finished first in class and first overall in the pre-final race.

Clayton is believed to be receiving support from a popular Italian racing kart team, and it is evident that such assistance is paying dividends. There is no doubt that Clayton has the necessary talent and he is likely to continue to improve even more.

Billy Grech on the other hand is still on a learning curve in foreign participation, and in the final race he moved up one position to claim 4th place in the over 32 class. His best lap was recorded in the pre-final race with a good time of 50.740 seconds. There is no doubt that as Billy gains more experience, his results will begin to improve.

Gianluca Dingli who is by now one of the more experienced Maltese drivers in foreign karting events has moved to the 125 Super ROK category, and at Triscina he was the only one in this class. So he raced in the combined category of 125 Junior ROK and 125 Super ROK made up of 6 drivers.

In the final race Gianluca finished second overall, and of course first in his class. In the pre-final he was 3rd overall, and 1st in class. In the official practice session Gianluca was 4th overall, which means that he continued to move forward with every session.

Gianluca succeeded to register an excellent best lap of 49.754 seconds in the pre-final race. This was the second fastest lap among the 4 Maltese competitors, and this confirms that with more experience results are bound to get better. Gianluca is also assisted by an Italian racing team and his move to a different category appears to be reaping the desired results.

It is a disgrace that these 4 Maltese karting drivers, and all the other karting drivers in Malta, have been deprived of practising their sport on their own island for 5 whole months when a temporary track at Hal Far was not really creating any problems to any body. The planned temporary solution will never make up for the 5 capricious months wasted by the authorities concerned.



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