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Christian Merli at the Coppa Nissena

Christian Merli, new European champion 2019, is determined to show his battling qualities. If the Team Blue City Motorsport leader should win at the 65th edition of the Coppa Nissena at Caltanissetta in Sicily, the Italian championship will not be decided until the Pedavena – Croce d’Aune hill climb in mid-October. If, however, Faggioli should dominate just one of the two race heats on the 5.450 km track on Sunday, he will seal his 13th Italian hill climb championship title. So the Sicily event will no doubt witness a fierce fight between the two benchmark drivers.

Scuderia Vimotorsport driver Merli has travelled from Trapani to Caltanissetta to race his Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM at the 65th Coppa Nissena, the penultimate round of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM. After securing the European championship title, the Trentino driver has rejoined the CIVM, winning at Morano in Calabria, at the Coppa Teodori at Ascoli, and at the Trofeo Fagioli in Umbria. The final three events – Erice, Coppa Nissena and Pedavena – all have a points coefficient of 1.5.

The Coppa Nissena in Christian’s words
“I won here last year and in 2015. It’s a fast track, just a few corners at the start and then a series of fast double bends. Half way through there is a chicane to reduce the speed. You can’t afford to make any mistakes, and I’ll do everything I can to secure the maximum number of points, since I missed a number of races in Italy because I was competing in the European championship.”

The CIVM standings
Faggioli 95 points, Magliona 92.5, Merli 86.5.

The calendar of the 2019 Italian hill climb championship CIVM
14 April: Luzzi – Sambucina (Calabria) winner Cubeda, 28 April: Trofeo Scarfiotti (Marche) winner Fattorini, 19 May: Alpe del Nevegal (Belluno province) winner Magliona, 2 June: Verzegnis – Sella Chianzutan (Friuli Venezia Giulia region) winner Zardo, 16 June: Salita Morano – Campotenese (Calabria) winner Merli, 30 June: Coppa Paolino Teodori (Marche) winner Merli, 7 July: Trento – Bondone (Trentino) winner Faggioli, 28 July: Rieti – Terminillo (Lazio) winner Magliona, 25 Aug: Trofeo Luigi Fagioli (Umbria) winner Merli, 15 Sept: Monte Erice (Sicily) winner Faggioli, 22 Sept: Coppa Nissena (Sicily), 20 Oct: Pedavena – Croce d’Aune (Veneto)

Ruth Scheithauer

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