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Christian Merli dominates at Sarnano

Christian Merli takes a fantastic victory at the 31st Sarnano – Sassotetto Trofeo Lodovico Scarfiotti. Behind the wheel of his Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM, he beats his eternal rival Simone Faggioli at the second round of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM by 63 hundredths of a second. The race in the central Italian Marche region consisted of a single race heat on the very technical 9.977 km track from Frazione Brilli to Fonte Lardina at an altitude of 1277 m. The champion from Trentino, who races for the Scuderia Vimotorsport, dominated both practice and race.

Christian’s comments
“I knew that beating Faggioli on a wet track would be hard. Before the start I thought of the trip to Portugal next weekend. I thought I was being cautious, but then I went all out. The surface was slippery but our Avon tyres were top. I’m taking 20 points home in the Italian championship, and I would like to thank Osella, Avon, LRM and the sponsors. Fantastic.”

Practice
Sunshine for the first practice run. Merli takes first place, 2”46 ahead of Faggioli (Norma M20 FC). In the second practice run, in the afternoon, Merli sees the clocks stop on 4’07”22, shaving 5” off his initial time. Faggioli is 3”77 behind.

Race
The single race heat starts at 11am under an overcast sky. Around noon it begins to rain and the “Wet race” sign comes out. When Merli enters the dance, it is raining heavily. He finishes in 4’40”85. Faggioli is 63 hundredths of a second behind.

The podium
1st Merli (Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM), 2nd Faggioli (Norma M20 FC) 0”63 behind, 3rd Scola (Osella PA 21/S EVO) 26”56 behind

The calendar of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM
15 May: 26th Trofeo Silvio Molinaro, Luzzi – Sambucina (Calabria); 29 May: 51st Trofeo Vallecamonica, Brescia (Lombardy); 26 June: 61st Coppa Paolino Teodori, Ascoli Piceno (Marche); 3 July: 70th Trento – Bondone (Trentino); 17 July: 57th Rieti – Terminillo (Lazio); 31 July: 48th Alpe del Nevegal (Veneto); 14 August: 60th Svolte di Popoli (Abruzzo); 28 August: 57th Trofeo Luigi Fagioli, Gubbio (Umbria); 11 September: 64th Monte Erice (Sicily); 18 September: 67th Coppa Nissena (Sicily)

Ruth Scheithauer

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