At The Races: Noel Baldacchino in European Driver Championship

Saturday, August 16, 2014, 22:59

Next Sunday champion driver Noel Baldacchino will be heading to Sweden in order to represent our country in the European Championship for Professional Drivers which is going to be hosted by the racetracks of Solanget and Umea on Monday and Tuesday 18th and 19th August.

The best drivers in Europe participate in this championship and this year apart from Baldacchino the participants are Hubert Brandstatter Jr (Austria), Knud Monster (Denmark), Mika Forss (Finland), Tony Le Beller (France), Michael Nimczyk (Germany), Hugo Langeweg Jr (The Netherlands), Vidar Hop (Norway), Branislav Mukic (Serbia), Guillermo Andreau Adover (Spain) and Bjorn Goop (Sweden). The driver that won the most races last year is Bjorn Goop who registered 367 victories from 2084 starts and he is hoping to win this championship as it is being held in his home country. These past years this championship is being held every other year as it is alternating with the World Championship.

The drivers that make it in the top five places in this championship gain the right to participate in the World Championship scheduled to be held in Australia next February. Last year the world championship was won by France and Pierre Vercruysse whilst the European Championship in 2012 was won by Italian Enrico Bellei.

Drivers are awarded points according to the placing they finish in with the winner getting 18 points, second placed 13, third placed 10 points and in fourth place 8 points with the other placings getting one point less each time. A disqualification is awarded one point whilst if a horse is declared a non runner the driver gets 6 points.

The championship opens up at the racetrack of Solanget next Monday with the drivers taking part in four races. This racetrack is 1004m long. The first race is at 19:08 over a distance of 1646m autostart for horses having up to 850,000 Swedish Kroner in earnings. Noel Baldacchino will be driving number 10 Pine Rolls a 6-year old Norwegian which does not seem to be amongst the favourites to win the race.

The second race starts at 19:52 over a 2650m distance for horses with a maximum earnings of Sek 175,000. Baldacchino has drawn number 4 Razza Yamoz and once again does not seem to be amongst the favourites.

The last race at Solanget starts at 20:36 over a distance of 2148m and with horses that have a maximum of 300,000 Swedish Kroner in earnings. This time Baldacchino seems to have been lucky in the draws as with number 3 and the Robert Bergh trained Elegance Brodde he will be starting amongst the most favourite to win the race.In the following race the drivers will be competing on Kallblads over the 1646 system and for Noel Baldacchino this will be his first experience driving such horses. He will be starting with number 6 on Norwegian Hogda Kvikk that does not seem to be one of the best horses in the field.

The following day drivers move to the racetrack of Umaker with another four races. The first race is the third one of the programme for horses with a maximum of Sek 525,000 in earnings and Noel Baldacchino

does not seem to have drawn a good horse as he is being considered as the least one with any chance of victory. Here he has number 3 and the horse Rally Swing.

In the second race the drivers will once again be driving kallblads over the 2140m distance. Noel will be starting with number 7 Angskalla and it seems he stands a good chance of acquiring a good placing. The 7th race is over the 1640m distance and is open to all horses. Baldacchino will be driving number 9 Bart Sjohammar and it seems that here one horse will be starting as the clear favourite with all the other horses having an equal chance of acquiring a place.

The last race of the championship is for mares with up to Sek 250,000 in earnings over the 2140m distance. Noel Baldac hino will be driving number 11 Global Numerous and does not seem that he will be amongst the favourites.

Each race in this championship has a first prize of Sek 40,000.

This championship saw its first edition in 1969 which was won by Norwegian Karsten Buer.

Noel Baldacchino returns to Malta on Thursday and during this trip will be accompanied by Mr Tony Demanuele one of the members of the Malta Racing Club Council.

On behalf of everyone we wish the best of luck to Noel Baldacchino.





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