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Christian Merli wins at Ecce Homo in the Czech Republic

Christian Merli in his Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM wins the third round of the European Hill Climb Championship at Ecce Homo in the Czech Republic. An extraordinary race, where the champion from Trentino edges Faggioli and his Norma by 0”05 in the first race heat and beats him clearly in the second while also establishing a new track record in 2’39”89.

Christian’s comments
“It was a very tight race over a few tenths of a second. I’m really happy. This morning it was very cold and we had a hard time getting the tyres up to temperature. In the end everything went well. An outright win, first place among the single-seaters, and a new track record. A big thank you to Enzo Osella, our tuners at LRM, and Avon.”

Practice
The 40th edition of the Ecce Homo hill climb at Šternberk north of Brno in the Czech Republic is the third round of the European championship. It consists of two official practice runs on the 7.800 km track on Saturday and two race heats on Sunday. The win is decided on accumulated times. The first practice run is very fast with Christian finishing 3”02 ahead of Faggioli. The top drivers leave out the second practice run because of the rain.

The race
In the morning, the first race heat. It is cloudy and temperatures are low when the competition cars take the start. Merli tops the timesheet in 2’41”57, with Faggioli only 0”05 behind. A fantastic race, highly competitive. In the afternoon, the second race heat. Faggioli finds some extra speed and finishes in 2’40”31. A phenomenal Christian Merli demolishes the track record and conquers the top step of the podium in 2’39”89. Faggioli is second. On accumulated times, it is Merli’s second win in three races so far this season.

The podium on accumulated times
1st Merli (Osella FA 30 LRM Zytek), 2nd Faggioli (Norma M20 FC) 0”47 behind, 3rd Trnka (Norma M20 FC) 11”10 behind.

The European Hill Climb Championship calendar
9 May: 54th Rampa de Boticas (Portugal), 16 May: 49th Subida al Fito (Spain), 30 May: 40th Ecce Homo Sternberk (Czech Republic), 27 June: 60th Coppa Paolino Teodori (Italy), 18 July: 37th Dobšinský kopec (Slovakia), 25 July: 12th Hill Climb Limanowa (Poland), 15 August: 77th Course de Côte de Saint Ursanne (Switzerland), 29 August: 27th GHD Ilirska Bistrica (Slovenia), 19 September: 40th Buzetski Dani (Croatia).

Ruth Scheithauer

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