Christian Merli racing in Slovakia
With the Trento – Bondone behind him, Christian Merli has travelled to Dobšiná in central Slovakia to race his Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM in the 37th edition of the Dobšinský kopec hill climb, the 5th round of the European Hill Climb Championship. European championship regulations award the overall win based on accumulated times, and group winners receive maximum points. Merli is currently heading Group E2-SS, the single-seaters, and Faggioli Group E2-SC, the two-seater sports cars. Christian has won in Spain and in the Czech Republic, and he is leading the European Hill Climb Championship ranking with 100 points, followed by Faggioli (75), Petit (66) and Degasperi (48).
Christian explains the race programme
“There are two practice heats scheduled on Saturday and two race heats on Sunday, where the winner will be determined based on combined times. The track is 6.590 km long. The start is immediately followed by a large right-hand hairpin, then a straight with bends to be taken in high gears and a 90 degree left-hand corner. A couple of double bends and then a one-kilometre straight stretch. An extremely fast section with more double bends, and two hairpins at about one kilometre before the finish line.” His goal? “We always aim for the top, hoping for good weather.”
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).