Duncan Micallef – 1st Maltese FIA Top Fuel Licensed Driver

Friday, May 4, 2012, 7:53

In 2007 Duncan Micallef won Runner-Up placing in the Rotax Max Karting Championship though he missed the last event. The following year he bought a T-Bucket with his partner Joe Ghiller of Telephone-Box.Duncanperformed no more than 6 runs starting doing the Quarter Mile in 10 seconds but managed to go 8,5secs with a Nitro Injected engine maintained by John Cassar.

In 2009Duncanswitched to ex-Andy Carter’s Top Fuel dragster powered by a Top Methanol engine. More crew was needed and Franco Pace came in to help. Franco gained experience from Top Fuel crew experience with Knut Soderquist. Raymond Debono also joined the crew to success. It was a hard year for the team until they learnt that they needed to change both engine and transmission which the team replaced in the following year. Timo and Dennis Habermann(2 times European champions) came toMaltato tune the dragster but they also built a new set-up too. This set-up proved fruitful as now Duncan clocked 5.93 secs. on the quarter with 0.93 secs for the 60 feet and 2 hours later,Duncanclocked 5.92 secs. It was noted by many that the road to success forDuncanwas obtained over quite a few runs and experience.

Earlier this yearDuncancontacted Rune Field to go Top Fuel though he knew little what it takes and feels to drive a TF but Rune gaveDuncanthe green light. Some thought thatDuncanwas crazy to go to Top Fuel butDuncankept calm and worked physically and mentally very hard to be able to attempt TF before Easter Thunderball in Santa Pod. So the crew flew to Santa Pod in time to attempt good passes which could earn him and make him the first Maltese Top Fuel Licensed man.

The crew’s job in Santa Pod was to fi tDunca nin the car with all his safety gear. Soon the engine was started on the track for the first warm-up and the dragster started to shake as if trying to fall to pieces each time the Nitro pump was switched on. Telephone Box Team planned to do the 3 runs on Friday to get his Licence but bad weather changed plans andDuncanmade only one run in the 8000bhp car compared to the 3000bhp which he runs inMalta. It was also planned to go for the 500 feet pass instead of the whole 1320 feet.Duncandid very well first time out on his TF and he did such an excellent pass that all in charge and crew complimented him. This gaveDuncanlots of fresh breath.

Saturday’s weather was bad as expected inUK.Duncan had to solve some documentation problems with the authorities. MDRA and MMF helped solve the problems but Duncan lost his morning run on track. In the afternoon they made it to the track but the car had lost traction andDuncanpaddled in a very delicate way according to his tuner’s advice.

On Sunday morning Duncan, Joe and the crew were thinking of calling it a day or even a wasted weekend due to the pouring rains which were also forecasted for the following day, Monday too.Duncandiscussed matters with Risto who is three times Runner-up in the European Championship. Risto decided to do one run when Duncanhad planned to do 8 runs. At around 3.00pm the weather started showing blue skies and the crew started to warm up the motor. This timeDuncantold the crew that if all goes well to go all the way, he is prepared for it. Off they went to the strip, did the burn-out, reversed, staged perfectly, fuel pump on, eyes wide open and a dab on the throttle at the Green Light.

Duncanfelt the push all the way. It was like when you are doing the first 60 feet. Soon it was time to pull the chutes out to drop the Gee Forces. I knew it was a fast run saidDuncanand when he heard that he covered the Quarter Mile in 5.10 secs. and doing 450kph, he wanted to break the cockpit with joy and pressure relief.

That was one whole best shot and had made the best time in all the event. Surely, Duncanwon his license and is the first Maltese man to drive the worlds fastest and most powerful dragsters abroad . Duncanis now listed with the worlds top drivers in this sport of drag racing. He will be returning to Santa Pod on 1-4th June for the first Race of the FIA Championship.

Duncan thanks all his crew (Franco, Raymond and Kevin) Joe Ghiller and all who encouraged and supported him to do this great feat and his Sponsors ‘AZURE’ and ‘ J Portelli Projects’ for helping him in this venture .

 

 





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