ASM welcomes Gozo Autocross at Ta’ Qali

Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 21:35

Following discussions with a group of Autocross drivers from Gozo this sport started to be practiced again at the ASM Race Circuits at Ta Qali. This sport was originally introduced in Gozo by the late Vince Bonello (Splott) who together with Frans Deguara and ASM organised the first Autocross races in Gozo far way back in 2003. This was a Two Day event organised to raise funds for a five year old boy from Xewkija. This event was organised ith the cooperation of the Ministry for Gozo, the Xewkija Local Council and Archpriest amonst others and took place at Ta Hamet in a location belonging to Mr. Victor Scerri from Xaghra.

Gozo Autocross racing followed mainly by the Cefai families from Zebbug. Lately, Tony Vassallo il-Hagi together with the Cefai’s have revived Autocross among newer drivers from Gozo. Now new drivers and vehicles are being prepared for competition at Ta Qali as now official track is available in Gozo. Obviously, these drivers have to overcome many difficulties to practice this sport in the ideal environment.

ASM Officials Frans Deguara, Johann Pace and John Micallef assisted by Mario Borg performed Scrutineering and advised about the safety features to be built in the competition cars of the Gozo drivers. While in Gozo, the ASM Officers conducted a talk/discussion with the local drivers. Present and prospective drivers attended this meeting where all personal and vehicle safety standard requirements, flags, race marshalling and other relevant features were explained to all present.

It was not an easy task to persuade new comers to the sport to abide 100% with the regulations but the ASM officers succeeded to overcome all difficulties with the Gozo drivers.

This meeting resulted in the Gozo drivers who are led by Tony Vassallo il-Hagi and Cefai brothers asked to perform a private practice session at the ASM race tracks to familiarise themselves with the race procedures prior to official racing.  10 cars accompanied with their families, relatives and friends made it to the ASM circuit on a Sunday morning last March. Onor. Anton Refalo M.P. obo P.L. for Gozo attended this meeting and praised this initiative taken between ASM in favour of the Gozo Autocross Drivers who have no official track to practice their favourite sport.

On 20th May 2012 the Gozo drivers performed officially at ASM in Ta Qali complimentary with the local Autocross and Motocross ASM-Poiatti Championship competitors. During these heats Richard Frank Axiaq won all the three heats but was penalised in one of the heats by the race referee for an unsporty deed on the Escort of Marvic Vassallo. He qualified for the day’s finals together with Josmar Zammit on a Marbella, Lawrence Galea on a Micra, Josef Agius on a BMW and Chris Apap on an Escort. All the Gozitan riders drew the attention of many spectators present.

All six Finalists performed an excellent Final Race start. Ghaxiaq and Galea soon took the lead and were followed by Vassallo on his Escort and Zammit too. The sence of sportsmanship was evident during this highly competitive Final Race.  Axiaq held his pace and took the chequered flag first. Galea and Vassallo fllowed in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. All were cheered from the paddocks and spectator stands by all present.

Next event, being a Night Event will be held on Saturday 14th July 2012 and starts at 5.00pm. The day’s programm is to include Autocross, Motocross, Quadbikes and Trials competitions. The programm  will be concluded by a Demolition Derby Race which will be run under artificial lighting.

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