In spite of Malta’s small size, Maltese motorsport has taken on many different forms over the years. A new day, a new way for a dirty car! Here is just a selection of a few of the different disciplines which are practised in Malta:
Hill-climb sprint racing is basically man and machine against the clock. As the name suggests, drivers try to clock the fastest times on a twisty uphill course, which demands both speed and precision in order to get right. Cars are organised into categories in accordance with their engine capacity, drivetrain layout and kerb weight. Hill-climbs take place at locations such as Mizieb and Xaghra in Gozo. This is arguably the least effective type of Maltese motorsport featured in this blog for creating a dirty car.
Drag racing pits two cars against each other to see who can cover a quarter-mile in the fastest time possible. The main location at which drag racing takes place (other than naughty boys racing away from a set of traffic lights, that is) is Hal Far. One of the old runways which formed part of the former RAF airbase is now torn up, metaphorically speaking, each week by some very fast street cars, together with numerous dragsters and drag bikes which are built solely for going fast in a straight line. In fact, some of the top fuel dragsters and drag racing trucks which are built, modified and maintained in Malta are some of the fastest in the whole of Europe.
Dirty car alert! Ever seen a little off-roader such as a Suzuki Samurai, Daihatsu Terios or similar wearing a set of ridiculously oversized wheels and tyres driving about on our roads? While there is no dedicated area for off-roading in Malta, there are numerous locations at which keen 4×4 mud-pluggers enjoy their sport. Whether that’s within the remit of the law or not is for someone else to argue, but the main areas that off-roading enthusiasts enjoy their sport are Selmun, Wied Hanzira and the Ahrax area of Mellieha.
Autocross sees a variety of cars, normally older street cars of minimal value which have been stripped out and strengthened using roll cages, take on each other on a circuit which consists of both tarmac and rough terrain. There’s a dedicated facility in Ta’ Qali for this type of racing, however events also take place at a variety of locations, such as Qrendi, Naxxar and Sannat in Gozo. The action does tend to get a bit argy-bargy at times, with cars banging wheels and body panels as they vie for victory. As you can expect, this kind of racing doesn’t only result in dirty cars, but broken ones too. Denominations of this form of motorsport which are also practised in Malta include quad-bikes and motocross, popular forms of Maltese motorsport.
Drifting is a discipline which originated in Japan, as local kids drifted their home-grown, rear-wheel-driven sports coupes up the island nation’s deserted mountain roads. Rather than being a form or racing, drifting is actually a performance. Drifters are judged on corner angles, how far they can get the back of their car to the edge of a drifting course during a slide, and general style. Drifting has really caught on in Malta, with a dedicated Association and Academy, together with display teams. The island has played host to numerous international level drifting events in the past few years. Drift cars are usually Japanese or German-manufactured, with upgraded engines, trick suspension setups and crazily-angled tyres. Definitely a sight to behold!
Do You Have a Dirty Car?
Should you have a dirty car, which you race or use regularly, then please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can do a little sprucing-up for you!