Five Maltse Motorsport Champions

Friday, December 13, 2013, 16:08

The 2013 season of racing at Racalmuto has again finished on a high, with 5 Maltese drivers winning their respective classes in the two championships held this season.

Motorsport Team Malta driver Johann Spiteri had an excellent season in which he won five of the six rounds in the Campionato Siciliano di Velocita in Pista, promoted by Sikelia Corse and run this year under the auspices of C.S.A.I. Johann drove his DDM sponsored 1000cc Jedi Suzuki faultlessly throughout, also establishing personal best lap and race times in the process. His only retirement was caused by a differential failure whilst leading round five in November. The immaculate preparation of the car is the responsibility of his father Charles, himself a driver and race winner in the past. They are an exemplary couple, both on and off the track.

In the seven round Racalmuto Time Attack championship Motorsport Team Malta drivers have had equally strong success with 4 class wins and front running performances throughout. Nicky Xerxen has had little opposition this year in his efforts to lower the outright touring car record at Racalmuto. This record previously stood at 1 minute 9 seconds, but two Maltese drivers have since bettered that; Nicky driving his Concorde Racing Mitsubishi EVO and Mark Galea with his ever improving Subaru Impreza. The record now stands at an incredible 1 minute 4.9 seconds.

Josef Calleja has had lots of competition in the Pro 4 wheel drive class from both Maltese and Italian competitors, yet he still managed to win the class for the second year in succession. This last round in early December was quite dramatic to say the least. Josef needed the win in order to beat Sicilian Ninuzzo Romano, who also drives a Subaru Impreza in the championship, however a clutch problem appeared on Sunday morning which would have resigned most people to immediate retirement. Not Josef. He drove all five 20 minute sessions changing as few gears as possible on his GSI Subaru, and without a clutch, and still managed to win his class, even if only just. A perfect case of perseverance pays.

Steve Calleja’s performances in his Twistees Mazda RX7 this year have improved with every round, mechanic Frank Spiteri constantly updating the car in every area, be it brakes, suspension, gearbox, tyres, and even aerodynamics, so that by round 6 Steve had a comfortable class lead in the championship. This was just as well for he was to miss the last round due to business commitments. He still won the Open class for 2 wheel drive cars. Steve and Frank are now preparing a bigger and better car for next season, and we augur them the best of luck.

Rodrick Borg is our fifth Maltese champion. Quiet, unassuming, and likeable Rodrick just got on with the job, despite plenty of competition in the Stock 4 wheel drive class. No trailers for Rodrick, who drove his Subaru Impreza to Racalmuto, raced all weekend, and drove the car back each time with complete reliability. Like most of the group, he was a pleasure to have with us, and like the rest of them he is very much looking forward to the 2014 season with more competition from both local and foreign drivers and cars.

At the end of season presentation of awards circuit director Dr. Michelangelo Romano was full of praise for all the participants throughout the championship, but singled out the Malta team for their sportsmanship, driving capabilities, and friendliness, presenting team organizer Joe Anastasi with a commemorative plaque whilst thanking him for a job well done, and looking forward to even more co-operation in 2014.

2013 was a great season from all angles. With improvements to the rules of both championships 2014 can only get better. Our thanks go to Virtu Ferries who have supported Motorsport Team Malta throughout the championship.

Leave a comment