Gozo Grand Sprint 2010
The Malta Motorsport Federation in conjunction with the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport (KMS), which is the National Sport Council in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo, the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Island Car Club and Valletta Grand Prix Foundation organised The Gozo Grand Sprint, which took place last Saturday and Sunday, the 20th and 21st of November.
The Ministry for Gozo said that the Gozo Grand Sprint 2010 was the first event to be held of its kind. The organisation of this event in Gozo was also an initiative to increase domestic tourism to Gozo especially in the relatively quiet months of the year.
This event attracted the participation of 83 drivers together with their teams. Many drivers were from Gozo and Malta, interest also came from Scotland. Two drivers from the field of motorsport in Sicily are also participated, Alessandro Modica and Alessio Cascone, along with hundreds of motorsport enthusiasts.
Before the race got underway a minute’s silence was observed as a tribute to Bishop Emeritus Nikol Cauchi, who passed away last week.
The Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, explained how the Ministry for Gozo supported this event because it believed it had the potential to attract tourists from within the domestic market in what is normally considered to be a quiet period to spend some nights on the island of Gozo. The Minister went on to say that the event also offered an opportunity to advertise the Gozo touristic product in particular niches such as the field of sports tourism.
Figures issued by Gozo Channel showed that during the last weekend the company’s ships carried more than 32,500 passengers and more than 10,000 vehicles. The company said that this related to an increase of more than 4,500 passengers and 1,500 vehicles on figures recorded in the same days in 2009 or an increase of 16 and 17 percent respectively.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Clyde Puli, reiterated that more sports activities will be held in Gozo over the coming weeks, which will included the organisation of the International table football World Grand Master, which is taking place this coming weekend. He said that this is possible thanks to financial assistance which is being given by the Malta Sports Council to sports organizations enabling them to organize sports activities that generate internal tourism in Gozo.
The President of the MMF Mr. Tonio Cini thanked the government bodies, local councils and those who had assisted in any way to make the weekends event so successful.
The racing ended late on Sunday afternoon when the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, presented trophies to the winners. The over-all winner in the category of vintage vehicles was Martin Spiteri in an Austin Healey, while Zachary Zammit won the category of single seater modern vehicles. Trophies were also given to winners in each class as well as those drivers who had participated in competition racing car for the first time.