Adrian Cauchi (Virtu Ferries Velox) places 3rd in class at Triscina

Monday, September 26, 2011, 19:13

by Alfred A. Farrugia

Adrian Cauchi, the 2011 Malta Karting Champion, proudly carried the Maltese flag to the podium when he went to collect the trophy for the 3rd place in the over 30 class at the Kartodromo Triscina, in Castelvetrano near Trapani, in the seventh and final round of the Trofeo Regione Sicilia.

This was the first time that Adrian was racing at this 1,280 metres long circuit with a whole set of different bends and corners, including a hairpin. It was also the first time that he was racing a VX Velox kart after Vincenzo Toscano selected Adrian to race for his new Malta-based scuderia.

Unfortunately, Adrian did not make optimum use of his early arrival at Triscina because for some strange reason his team opted to use a different brand of tyres instead of the one formally allowed by the promoters of the event. While he was learning the new track, he did not get the right feel that he started to get when he switched to the right kind of tyres. So badly needed early technical knowledge was lost.


Adrian Cauchi on the podium with the Maltese flag and the 3rd place trophy of his class. [photo by Michael Vella

As a result, in the official qualifying laps he could not bring the time lower than 50.921 seconds, which was not bad for a first time, but which could have been even better if he had practiced with the right set of tyres during unofficial practice.

As it turned out, his fourth place in his class in the “qualifiche” did not make any difference, because the organizers decided to base the order of the starting grid on the championship standings, and Adrian had not taken part this year. So he had to start from the tenth position of the grid, the same as his overall qualifying time.

Pre-final second place

Adrian is not the type of driver to give up very easily, and he showed his real skill and talent in the course of the pre-final race. From the tenth position on the starting grid he moved up 4 positions.

He reduced the best time by 0.213 seconds to register a best lap of 50.708 seconds in the 12th lap to gain the second position in his class behind Davide Vincenzo Scuto. Beating 5 experienced Italian drivers in his class, and 7 in total, in the 16 lap pre-final race in his first attempt at Triscina was no mean feat.

But the competition was very tight and everything depended on the 20-lap final. In an effort to try and improve even more, the team decided to tweak the kart a little better, but instead of improving, the change worked in the opposite direction.

As a result of this unfortunate change, in the final race, Adrian could not turn a lap faster than 50.883 seconds, again in the 12th lap. But with determination, Adrian fought as hard as he could and conceded only one position to claim the 3rd place in his class in the final race, and sixth overall – finishing ahead of 7 Italian drivers! 

Although Adrian was disappointed that technical and tactical errors did not allow him to bring home a better result, he was satisfied that the trust shown in him by Vincenzo Toscano was repaid with a podium finish and the very first championship points for a VX Velox kart in the Rotax series.

The VX Velox kart is CIK-FIA homologated, but it had not participated in a Rotax race before, so Adrian will go down in the annals of this company as the first Maltese driver to earn them championship points in this series in the world. Race engineer Aldo Vella and technical manager Joe Vella had to work very hard to prepare the kart against the best competitors in this category in Sicily, and the lessons learnt in their first trial and error experience will definitely be used in future races.

The Scuderia Racing Kart Malta has started on a positive note but they have bigger ambitions for the future. The transporter of this team is becoming a moving commercial along the roads of Sicily for the sponsors, including Virtu Ferries and the St. Julian’s Radisson Blu Resort. The support and assistance of these and others is highly appreciated.

It is hoped that until the new karting track at Hal Far is fully developed, the authorities concerned will allow the temporary use of the old track for a few more months. It is difficult to bring home better karting results if drivers do not have a suitable place to practice in Malta, at least on a few weekends during the year.

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