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21 August 2014

Lack Of motorsport facilities sparks enthusiasts’ exodus this weekend

 - Wednesday, 25 April 2012, 00:00 , by Joe M. Anastasi

This weekend sees probably the biggest number of motorsport enthusiasts leaving the island, for no other reason but the sheer frustration of not being able to practice their hobby locally and in safety.

David Anastasi will be making the long trek to Erice to fulfil a lifelong dream at the age of 62. The Automobile Club di Trapani will be hosting the 55th edition of the Cronoscalata Monte Erice this coming Saturday and Sunday.

It means that the mediaeval mountain top town of Erice will be completely shut off for this great motorsport event for two whole days when some of Europe’s top drivers and cars will be pounding relentlessly up and down the hill, and David and his Mini Doda Honda will be among them.

Friday will see some 200 racing cars descend on Trapani for scrutineering, with Saturday taken up with two practice runs on the beautifully challenging 7 kilometre hill, and Sunday devoted entirely to the two timed runs counting towards the event’s results. The Monte Erice hill climb forms part of the FIA European Hill Climb Cup.

The Virtu ferry on Saturday morning will also be choc a bloc with racing cars and motorcycles for plenty more frustrated enthusiasts will be following David’s example and travelling to Sicily and Italy, for no other reason but a bit of motorsport fun.

Twenty four drivers will be heading for the Autodromo Valle dei Templi at Racalmuto to take part in the third Time Attack event of 2012. Maltese drivers have already left their mark in the first two events, with Josef Calleja registering the fastest time of the day with his Subaru Impresa.

The Maltese entry this weekend will include Porsche, Lotus, Ferrari, Honda and other makes. These will be in direct competition with at least another 50 entries from Sicily and Italy.

A.S.M president Frans Deguara will again be taking a group of motocross riders across to Calabria to compete in another round of the FMI motocross championship, though these, unlike their on road car and motorcycle counterparts, are lucky enough to have an excellent local facility where to train in safety under the experienced guidance of Mr Deguara and other ASM committee personnel.

Add to that, a group of drift car drivers who will be going to Melilli to participate in an event at the pretty little circuit there, another group of minimoto riders who will be doing the same at another circuit, a group of all wheel drive off road enthusiasts from the AWDC who will be travelling to Slovenia to compete in an event there, and a massive group of motorcyclists who will be travelling to take part in a Motorcycle Raduno at Enna, and you just have to stop and think, what is wrong with the local scene, and why are the authorities not sitting up and taking notice?

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