Sunday 1 July will see the 68th edition of the Trento – Bondone. It is the 5th round of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM and also counts for the northern Italy hill climb trophy, the FIA Int. Hill Climb Cup and the FIA Historic Hill Climb Championship. It is organised by the Scuderia Trentina in collaboration with the Automobile Club Trento. Christian Merli will be tackling his local hill with his Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM. Administrative checking and scrutineering take place in Piazza Dante in Trento from 12.30 to 19.30 on Friday. Official practice starts at 9.00 on Saturday, with the road being closed an hour before. On Sunday, the road closes at 8.30, and the single race heat begins at 10.00.
Simone Faggioli’s absence
Last Sunday, Simone Faggioli participated in the Pikes Peak hill climb race in Colorado at the wheel of a Pirelli-shod Norma M20 SF powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.7 litre engine developing almost 800 hp. He finished 2nd at his debut on this track, 40” behind the winner Dumas, who was racing with the electric Volkswagen ID R and established an incredible new record at 7’57”148. Faggioli thus obtained the best time among the cars with combustion engines. A project which required an immense organisational effort and which will end with the team’s return from the US only this week, too late for them to make the race in Trentino.
Similar to last year, the current leader of the Italian standings Omar Magliona and runner-up Domenico Cubeda will also be absent.
From Montevideo to Vason
Along the 17.300 km track, which has an altitude difference of 1350 m, there are 42 hairpins and more than 180 bends. The race is unique in Europe, and it is a tough test both for the cars and for the drivers’ physical stamina. A hill climb race where managing the tyres, the engine and the brakes demands the utmost attention. Ten, fifteen minutes of maximum concentration.
The interview with Merli, Team Blue City Motorsport driver
“I am sincerely sorry that Simone won’t be racing. It has always been an exciting challenge. Obviously this is an extra chance for me to aim at the overall win. However, there is no lack of opponents. The Trento – Bondone is a unique race. It is very difficult. It requires experience and hard work and does not allow you to make any mistakes behind the wheel. Staying concentrated for the entire duration is definitely no small feat. For me personally, it’s my local hill, and it’s always the most difficult one. Everyone expects so much, and we’ll do our best as always, but while our technical means help us a lot in the medium-fast stretches, we suffer in the narrow hairpins. And there are plenty of those here.”
The track record
The record holder at the Hill Climb University, as Mauro Nesti called it, is Simone Faggioli. With his Norma M20 FC, he saw the clocks stop on 9’00”52 last year, which corresponds to an average speed of 115.2 km/h.
It has been exactly 48 years since a Trentino driver last climbed on the top step of the podium. In 1970, Antonio Zadra took the victory at the wheel of a Fiat Abarth 2000, in 11’43”47.
The calendar of the 2018 Italian hill climb championship CIVM
6 May: Alpe del Nevegal (Belluno province) – winner Omar Magliona (Norma M20 FC), 27 May: Verzegnis – Sella Chianzutan (Friuli Venezia Giulia region) – Christian Merli, 10 June: Coppa Selva di Fasano (Apulia) – Magliona, 24 June: Coppa Paolino Teodori (Marche) – Merli, 1 July: Trento – Bondone (Trentino), 22 July: Salita Morano Campotenese (Calabria), 5 Aug: Trofeo Scarfiotti (Marche), 19 Aug: Trofeo Luigi Fagioli (Umbria), 2 Sept: Pedavena – Croce d’Aune (Veneto), 16 Sept: Monte Erice (Sicily), 23 Sept: Coppa Nissena (Sicily), 7 Oct: Luzzi Sambucina (Calabria).