Christian Merli takes second place overall at the 43rd Cividale – Castelmonte, the 5th round of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM in northeastern Italy. Two race heats of 6.395 km each. Simone Faggioli wins both of them.
After the race, Osella driver Merli lodges a protest against Faggioli, and the Cividale – Castelmonte classification remains provisional until 4am on Monday morning. When the scrutineers have finished their thorough examination of Simone Faggioli’s Norma M20 FC Zytek and Christian Merli’s Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM, it is confirmed that both engines are compliant. So Faggioli is 1st and Merli 2nd.
In Race 1 Merli is 4”24 behind Faggioli. In Race 2, despite carving no less than 10 seconds off his time, the Team Blue City Motorsport leader still finishes second, with a gap of 2”45. He then lodges his protest.
“It was a long race, and it went on until late in the night. In Race 1 we went for slightly cut slicks, but soon after the start it started drizzling. In Race 2 I went all out and was 10 seconds faster. My opponent still beat me by 2”45. Since we had doubts over Simone’s engine, I lodged a protest after the race. Of course that’s a very difficult thing to do, and it’s a shame that such checks are not performed as a matter of course. In all my career I don’t recall the relevant officials doing post-race checks on the engines of the racing cars without someone having lodged a protest. Unfortunately I had to step forward to get the legitimate doubts dispelled, but there had been rumours about the engine of the Norma for some time. At 4am on Monday morning the official confirmation arrived. Both our engines, his and mine, are fully compliant. Congratulations therefore to my opponent and his team, and thank you to the stewards, scrutineers, organisers and the clerk of the course for staying with us all night.”
The confirmed classification
Thus Merli finishes in second place in the 5th round of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM. Simone Faggioli wins both race heats.
The championship standings
Simone Faggioli now leads the championship standings with 75 points, after deduction of the scores to be dropped as per the regulations. Christian Merli has 70 points. The last two CIVM rounds, in Sicily and Calabria, each have a scoring coefficient of 1.5.
The podium of Race 1
1st Faggioli (Norma M20 FC), 2nd Merli (Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM) 4”24 behind, 3rd Degasperi (Osella FA 30) 16”19 behind.
The podium of Race 2
1st Faggioli (Norma M20 FC), 2nd Merli (Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM) 2”45 behind, 3rd Liber (Gloria CP8 Evo 2000) 16”20 behind.
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)