Last weekend eight Maltese drivers, members of the Island Car Club have participated in the 59th edition of the Hill-climb at Chiaramonte Gulfi, at Ragusa, Sicily. Known as the Salita delli Monti Iblei, the hill climb is a demanding 5.5km stretch of uphill road with an interesting mix of tight low speed bends, a long straight, as well as a number of high speed corners. In comparison to the shorter locally held hill-climbs, this race demands a high level of preparation both from the drivers and from the racing cars.
The entry list contained a total of 258 cars in the various groups and classes, ranging from historic vehicles to single-seater sports cars. The Maltese participating drivers were Joe Anastasi on his Mini-Cooper, Noel Galea on his Escort Mk2-Vauxhall, Edward Calleja on his Lotus Elise-Honda, Jesmond Mangion on his Lotus Elan-Ford, his son Ryan Mangion on his Escort Mk1-Ford Turbo, James Dunford on his Radical PR6-Suzuki, Mark Micallef on his Radical Club Sport-Suzuki and Darren Camilleri on his Reynard 903-Suzuki Turbo.
Despite the number of participating cars and some mechanical problems, 5 out of the 8 Maltese drivers obtained respectable podium finishes adding to the long list of good performances obtained internationally by Maltese Motorsport participants. The full result and race times can be seen at: http://www.cronosalite.it/tempi-live-59a-salita-dei-monti-iblei/