Car Reviews, News & Advice

Mark Micallef triumphs in Mtahleb in his Radical ProSport

Published: 05 October 2012

A well done to Mark Micallef, driving his AutotraderMalta Radical ProSport, who proudly climbed to the highest step of the podium for the first time at Imtahleb on Sunday after a thrilling victory as the 2012 Island Car Club hillclimb championship is drawing to a conclusion. As the race began, it immediately became evident that the result was going to be close and the battle for the honours was to be fought until the last run.An incident-packed session saw two minor crashes, numerous mechanical failures and the shock retirement of title-challenger and reigning champion Hubert Camilleri, who yet again suffered a broken gearbox on his last run.

With Camilleri leading the way in Group 6 after the first run, followed very closely by Fabio Baldacchino, the possibility of a tie started to emerge. However, by the end of the fourth and final run, Micallef scorched to victory with a remarkable time of 55.375secs, thus becoming the first Radical racer ever to have finished in the number one spot in local hillclimb championship events.
Zach Zammit, who drove impeccably in his Urban Jungle Ralt, was runner-up just under a tenth of a second away from the leader for his fifth podium finish this year. Camilleri had to settle for third in his iconic McLaren Garage Chevron B43, claiming his fourth podium of this cham-pionship. He was just under three tenths of a second behind Zammit. Imtahleb has always proved to be a dramatic race up the top of the steep, demanding hill which is considered by many as Malta’s best race-suited road.
But on Sunday, Micallef showed he was on top of his form as he stormed up the straight in an impressive manner to secure victory.
Baldacchino, who won at Imtahleb in June, slipped to fourth and Matthew Zammit fifth ahead of veteran Radical driver Alex Zammit. Adam Bugeja, Anthony Bernard, James Dunford and Ivan Deidun rounded out the top 10 overall times.Bernard, in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, was the only saloon road car to figure among the single-seaters in the top positions, also claiming fastest four-wheel drive time and quickest in Group 2.
John Zammit, of Group 3, produced an emphatic performance in his turbo-charged Lotus Elise. He was fastest rear wheel drive, ranking 11th overall.


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