Josef Calleja first in Racalmuto time attackWednesday, October 31, 2012, 12:12
With one round of this year’s Time Attack championship at the Autodromo Valle dei Templi, Racalmuto, still to run, Time Attack Team Malta driver Josef Calleja has already accumulated enough points to secure the championship in the “Racing” class. Josef has driven his GFI Subaru Impresa impeccably all season, finishing on the class podium in every one of the 5 events held to date.
The fifth round of the Racalmuto championship attracted the largest number of Maltese competitors this year, 26 drivers, plus a considerable number of helpers and friends making the Virtu Ferry crossing to Pozzallo last Saturday. The event was well supported by Italian competitors too, including a large group of Italian Alfa Romeo Owners Club drivers.
Four Team Malta drivers were entered in the “Sport” category, all four being new to the Racalmuto circuit, and all four driving Honda cars. Despite this being their first Time Attack, they certainly didn’t disgrace themselves, with Daniel Montebello placing an excellent 3 rd, followed by Robert Micallef, brother Miguel Montebello, and Fabian Ellul.
In the very popular “Pro” class, Adrian Muscat Azzopardi claimed another win with his Lotus Exige, bettering his previous best time in the process. Second in class was newcomer Kenneth Bonello driving excellently in his Mazda RX7, with Rodrick Borg fourth. The class contained 18 competitors, of which 9 were Maltese drivers.
The “Racing” class was also a Maltese benefit with Mark Micallef producing the fastest lap – 1 minute 11.517 seconds, driving his potent Subaru, and Josef Calleja collecting enough championship points with third place to assure himself of the “Racing” class championship. Neil Falzon had a better weekend than usual, his Subaru behaving more reliably throughout and allowing him to complete 21 laps, but perhaps the happiest man there was Steve Calleja who, with help from Frank Spiteri had finally managed to sort out the gremlins on his Mazda RX7, and ran 37 troublefree laps, culminating in his best lap time to date. Michael Mangion, Jackson Agius, Jeffrey Shaw, and Robert Zammit completed the list of drivers in this category of 15 competitors.
And finally to the “Competition” class where Nicky Xerxen annihilated the Racalmuto production car record on his very first outing with his new Mitsubishi EVO, stopping the clocks at an impressive 1 minute 6.65 seconds. Second in class was another Team Malta driver Philip Tabone driving his homebuilt Locost Ford.
With the return ferry delayed due to bad weather, there was plenty of time for “post mortems” but there was one statement common to all team members: “Book me in for the next one on the 16 th of December”. So if you wish to join us next time, you could do a lot worse than contact organizer Joe Anastasi for more details.
Our thanks to the management at Autodromo Valle dei Templi, and to Virtu Ferries for making it all possible.