Racalmuto RaceTuesday, October 23, 2012, 20:34
At the Racalmuto circuit 12 Maltese drivers, managed by Joe Anastasi, were entered in different categories for the 5th round of the Campionato Siciliano di Velocita in Pista. The Maltese team arrived on Friday and soon got down to some useful testing, and in the case of James Dunford and Angelo Scuderi, also learning the track. Alan Curmi and John Zammit immediately hit mechanical problems which they were not able to solve, and so were out before they started. The other 10 runners got through Saturday practice and qualifying, with Johann Spiteri again claiming pole position for race 4, with Matthew Zammit 3rd on the starting grid, and Joshua Anastasi third on the race 5 grid, having only completed 3 qualifying laps. Newly crowned ICC hill climb champion Zach Zammit also hit mechanical problems during Saturday qualifying, putting him out of action for the rest of the weekend.
As the lights went out for the start of Race 4 for small capacity Formula cars, championship leader Johann Spiteri made an excellent start driving his Jedi Suzuki to take the lead and extend it throughout the 12 lap race. This third win of the season now puts him in a very favourable position to win the championship, with just one more round to go. Alex Zammit finished fourth, ahead of son Matthew, whilst Jason Muscat retired his Radical with mechanical problems on lap 5.
The last race of the day saw Joshua Anastasi returning to racing his JBR-4 Kawasaki after an absence of 12 months, but the break didn’t seem to have had much of an effect on his performance. After a good start from 3rd on the grid, he was 2nd into the first corner. But Italian champion Mario Pappalardo was hard on his heels throughout the 12 laps, the two of them dicing furiously and allowing young Marko Pollara to draw away. However Pollara was docked a 15 second “jump start” penalty which dropped him to 3rd, and handed the win to the Maltese driver from Pappalardo. The gap between Joshua Anastasi in first, and Pappalardo in second was just two tenths of a second, after 12 laps of hard racing. James Dunford finished an excellent 5th in his first race at Racalmuto, whilst poor Patrick Gauci retired on lap 8 with mechanical problems, and Fabio Baldacchino’s race ended before it started when the engine died on his OMS just before the start.
About a hundred kilometers South, David Anastasi was doing more winning for Malta when he too won his class at the Coppa Monti Iblei at Chiaramonte Gulfi, a Maltese Anastasi returning to the famous hill in the Iblei mountains after an absence of exactly 30 years.
This coming weekend sees another Maltese invasion of Racalmuto when over 30 drivers will be taking part in the 5th round of the Sicilian Time Attack championship which is growing in popularity from one event to the next.
Our thanks go to Virtu Ferries, without whose constant support none of this would be possible.