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Mdina thrills the crowds

The ‘silent’ city was silent no more last Sunday as more than 70 classic cars took part in the Mdina Grand Prix just beneath the fortifications. This was the climax of four days of sheer fun starting with the Mtaħleb Hill Climb on Friday to the Concours d’elegance in front of the Mdina Cathedral, and concluding with a weekend of racing.

The good weather and the classic cars, including a fleet of Bugattis with their respective foreign drivers and their driving techniques, were definitely an attraction for the sizeable crowd that flocked to the events, a further indication of how much the Maltese are passionate about cars.

Despite being held on public roads in the absence of a racing circuit on the island, the spectacle was great. The Mdina Grand Prix has become an iconic annual appointment that should be pencilled down in our diaries.

I was mesmerised watching these gems being thrown around the corners, with their drivers barely holding on to increase road holding, skimming tree branches with barely inches to spare.

There were instances when I had to close my eyes, fearing the worse, but luckily no major damage was reported.

The spectators gave enthusiastic support, and on seeing the French drivers giving it their all, the Maltese drivers were doing likewise.

The foreign drivers included an ex-Formula 1 driver, Rupert Keegen, who was driving a local Triumph TR3. Keegan was briefly active in F1 between 1977 and 1982 and took part in 25 races, driving Hesketh, Surtees Ram and March. His first race was in Spain in 1977.

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