For the first time ever a Maltese driver came very close to being crowned European Champion for Professional Drivers as Rodney Gatt had an outstanding performance during the two day championship which took place at the racetracks of Wallonie and Tongres in Belgium.
At the end of the first day, after 4 races Gatt was leading with Italian driver Alessandro Gocciadoro but Rodney had the advantage of having won a race when he went first past the post in the third race with Oh Sama Cash.
He could not have started the 2nd day better as with a third place he shot to the top having an 8 point advantage over the driver from Serbia as the Italian driver was disqualified. In the 2nd race of the day Gocciadoro picked up the lead once again after winning the race whilst Rodney placed 4th with a difficult horse.
Everything was to be decided during the last encounter with just two points separating the Italian and Maltese drivers meaning that whoever took the better placing would win. Unfortunately Rodney’s horse tired out in the last part of the distance and Gocciadoro was seen passing the post in front of him. Still we had to wait for the stewards’ decision as the Italian’s horse had broke trot early in the race and it had to be seen if this was enough to get him disqualified or not. The decision was cast in favour of the Italian declaring him European Champion. Rodney Gatt finished in 2nd place just 4 points behind him.
This is the best ever placing for a Maltese driver in this prestigious championship for Professional drivers. It also means that for the third time Malta has gained a ticket for the World Championship to be held in Italy next year. Rodney Gatt will be participating for the 2nd time in the World Championships after he had also qualified in the 2019 edition held in Sweden.
Public Relations & Media Coordinator
Malta Racing Club