This coming Sunday marks the start of the Italian hill climb championship season. The opening event, the 46th edition of the Alpe del Nevegal hill climb in Belluno province, consists of two practice runs on Saturday and two races on Sunday.
Christian Merli will take part in the 2020 Italian hill climb championship opener in his Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM. The Team Blue City Motorsport leader emerged victorious here in 2004, 2006, 2013 and 2015.
“We’re starting, complying with all the rules. A race behind closed doors due to the pandemic which has characterised this year unexpectedly and painfully so we are still going forward day by day. Sponsors have been affected by the crisis, and I offer my thanks to all those who are supporting me. We hope that we will be able to run the entire season. It would mean that the public health situation is clearly improving. It’s a difficult year for everyone. The opponents? Certainly Simone Faggioli, although the track record of 2’26”84, established in 2018, is ours. We’re going to Belluno hoping that the weather outlook will hold; for now it’s good.”
The track in Christian’s words
“It’s 5.500 km long. Following a flat start, the track continues perfectly straight for 600 or 700 metres, then gets steep with top gradients of no less than 14 per cent. A series of tight hairpins and very fast straights going through all the gears. The track is unique: very steep and narrow, medium-fast. A chicane in the final kilometre prevents you from taking the last bend at full throttle.”
The calendar of the 2020 Italian hill climb championship CIVM
23 Aug: 55th Trofeo Luigi Fagioli (Umbria), 30 Aug: 58th Cronoscalata Svolte di Popoli (Abruzzo), 13 Sep: 59th Alghero – Scala Piccada (Sardinia), 4 Oct: 43rd Cividale – Castelmonte (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), 25 Oct: 62nd Monte Erice (Sicily), 15 Nov: 25th Luzzi – Sambucina (Calabria)