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Mark Micallef Wins the First Round of The National Hill Climb Championship 2024

The Island Car Club Malta Hillclimb Championship kicked off its 2024 season at the legendary Mtaħleb hill. With fifty-nine entries spanning a diverse range of classes, from street cars to high-performance racers, enthusiasts and competitors alike descended upon the scenic route for a day of adrenaline-fueled action.

Early feedback from participants heralded praise for recent road maintenance efforts, jointly undertaken by the authorities and the Hillclimb organizers. These improvements significantly enhanced road conditions, setting the stage for thrilling competition.

Mark Micallef, piloting a Norma M20 Mugen, emerged as the frontrunner, clocking an impressive time of 59.004 seconds in the timed practice run. Following him were Jean Vella in his Jedi F1000 and Noel Galea in his Ford Escort Mk2, with times of 59.135 and 59.300, respectively.

However, the day was not without its challenges. Some competitors pushed their vehicles to the brink, exceeding mechanical limits, while others faced penalties, hindering their quest for better times.

Noel Galea dominated the rear-wheel-drive category, while Didier Bugeja claimed the top spot in the front-wheel-drive category with his Peugeot 106. Josef Calleja showcased his prowess in the four-wheel-drive category with his Subaru Impreza, while Isaac Burlò shone in the classic car category with his remarkable Mini Cooper.

Celebrating diversity in motorsport, Martina Caruana earned the title of fastest female driver behind the wheel of her BMW 1 Series, while David Grech secured the fastest veteran (+60) honor in his Ford Escort Mk2. Sacha Blanco showcased his skill in the streetcar category with his Honda-powered Toyota MRS, while Calvin-Lee Mifsud impressed as the fastest driver under twenty-five, piloting his Honda Civic.

Mark Micallef emerged victorious, claiming the hillclimb crown ahead of Jean Vella and Noel Galea.

Behind the scenes, a dedicated team led by Josef Abela as Clerk of the Course, Jeremy Cassar as Deputy CoC, and Susanne Fenech as Secretary of the Meeting ensured the smooth operation of the event. With George Muscat as Steward and Joe Formosa as Timekeeper, the championship ran seamlessly.

The success of such events hinges on the generous support of sponsors like Enemed, MeDirect Bank Malta, England Insurance, and The Point Malta, whose contributions make these competitions possible. Gratitude also extends to the volunteers and photographers whose unwavering dedication captures the essence of the occasion, preserving memories for generations to come.

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