During a press conference held today 27th August 2011, Mr. Manwel Portelli, representing Grimaldi and Sullivan Maritime, stated that they are sponsoring 3 Teams from the 5 Teams who will be travelling to the United Kingdom to participate in the FIA European Finals of Drag Racing being held at Santa Pod between the 8th to the 11th September 2011, where more than 40,000 spectators are expected to attend this event, which is also streamed live around the world on the net. A contingent of more than 300 Maltese Enthusiasts will be travelling to UK to watch and support the Maltese teams, a first ever to have 5 Maltese Teams together in one prestigious international motor racing event. Top Officials from the MMF will be leading this contingent in UK. Mr. Portelli stated that they are please to keep this collaboration going with the Malta Motorsport Federation, thus supporting its affiliated members and enthusiasts.
Mr. Bernard Vassllo, KMS Chairman stated that the FIA European Finals are Europe’s most prestigious Drag Racing event with 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters, Top Methanol Dragsters and Funny Cars, Pro Mods, Pro Stock plus Drag Bikes and many supporting classes.
The European Finals is the last round of the prestigious FIA European Drag Racing Championship, and features the largest race entry and most packed Motorsport event anywhere in Europe! Close to 300 teams, and 16 race classes make this event unrivalled for both the quality and quantity of racing. KMS is pleased with the progress that Motorsport is registering since the conception of the Malta Motorsport Federation, and for this year, KMS has granted financial funds to MMF for two FIA Institute training courses, which first course will commence with the Young Drivers Programme, to be held between the 23rd and 24th September in Malta. Applications are available from www.maltamotorsport.org until the end of this month. KMS looks forward to see young drivers who are members with any affiliated MMF club to take this opportunity as a step in the right direction.
Tonio Cini, MMF President stated that after the Young Drivers Training Courses, MMF, with the support of KMS, will be issuing a call for the Officials Training Development Programme. All those interested will need to attend an interview by the FIA RTP officials, in order to be eligible for these FIA Institute certified Train the Trainer Courses.
Tonio Cini also announced the Five Maltese teams who will be taking part in the FIA European Drag Racing Finals at Santa Pod between the 8th and 11th September 2011, who are:
- Simon Giordmania, who will be driving in the Super Street Bike category, coming fresh from a 4th place at Hockenheim Germany with a 7.7sec run.
- Monty Joseph Bugeja, registering a 5.7sec run with his Mr. Whippy Top Methanol Dragster
- Olivier Azzopardi, driver of the Smart Drag Racing Team again racing in the Top Methanol Dragster category who is also planning to participate in all rounds of the FIA Drag Racing Championship in 2012.
- Tommy Aguis – Maksar Diesel Truck Drag Racing Team – currently the Quarter mile World record holder with a 10.117sec. Maksar have been invited to perform at Santa Pod and will be doing his best to improve his world record timing.
- Team Maximum Lock, a Drift display Team, made up of Mark Galea, Christian Bezzina and Clint Abela.
Adrian Figallo of Team Maximum Lock stated that after a fantastic performance two weeks ago in UK, are again invited to give a Synchronized Drift Show at Santa Pod during these Finals, and followed by another show a week later at JDM All Stars Drift Series at Wembley. But this is not all! Team Maximum Lock, yesterday concluded a deal to perform in the 3rd Bahrain International Motor Show event, which is going to be held from the 3rd to 5th November 2011 at the Bahrain International F1 GP Racing Circuit. This event attracts around 100,000 visitors per year. This participation is a first for a Maltese team to perform outside the European continent.
George Muscat of MDA, reported that Shawn Spiteri, the Maltese Drifting Champion, who placed 6th in the JDM All Starts Event round held recently in Malta, qualified and will be competing at the 6th Round JDM all Starts Drifting ‘Battle of the Titans’ at Wembley between the 17th and 18th September 2011 with his RX-7, which was purposely prepared up to FIA standards. This is another success for a Maltese driver and for having an MDA member competing in such a prestigious event.
Tonio Cini, MMF President was pleased to announce that MMF welcomes within its folds the Malta Drag Racing Association (MDRA), who has now become full affiliated member with the Federation. This brings together all competing disciplines of motorsport under the Federation’s hat.
MDRA Secretary Jason Camiilleri, was pleased with the support the MDRA are getting from the Federation, and looks forward for more collaboration with the authorities under the guidance of MMF for the benefit of their members. MDRA Track at Hal Far is currently undergoing extensive modifications to improve the track in various aspects especially safety standards and the track grip. He also stated that yesterday’s MDRA quarter mile event gave the results that such modifications helped to improve the standard of the track as most of the teams registered record timings. The association was pleased that what they did on the track, under the supervision of a foreign expert on drag racing circuits, was given the expected results.
In conclusion, Tonio Cini, MMF President stated that every year, Maltese teams are venturing to compete in Top International events. This puts more stress on the importance that our tracks should be of high standards. However, other disciplines are still suffering from the lack of facilities, where one can have his training and compete properly in a safe environment.
Maltese motorsport is in great need of a multi-disciplinary race track to accommodate the diverse range of motorsport enthusiasts, circuit racing, Bikes, Karting, Mini Motos and others disciplines. Motorsport can be a major contributor in the sport tourism niche market and any further delay is hindering the progress of the sport.
All Teams thanked their respective sponsors who without their support, this would remain a dream.
MMF and KMS would like to take this occasion to wish good luck to all Racing Teams.
Click here to view a selection of photos from the Press Conference.