Christian Merli racing in the Czech Republic
On Sunday Christian Merli will be racing his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM in the 41st edition of the Ecce Homo hill climb at Sternberk north of Brno in the Czech Republic. The fourth round of the European championship 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 track record of 2’39”888 is held by the Scuderia Vimotorsport driver from Trentino, established last year.
After three rounds Merli dominates Category 2, that of the competition cars, with 75 points, followed by Villa Garcia from Spain (58 points) and Trnka from the Czech Republic (55). Christian conquered the top step of the podium in France, Portugal and Spain.
The track in Christian’s words
“A very fast track, which you have to take high-geared. Only three hairpins. A prestigious race with a long tradition, and with top speeds of 260 km/h. The track is wide and immediately starts with a very fast mixed section. Next a series of double bends, to be taken in high gears as I said, leading up to a fork in the road, where the track widens further. Some more fast half bends and a long 3rd gear bend in a beautiful natural amphitheatre. Then you push at maximum speed straight through to the finish line. I must absolutely avoid any errors, because my opponent Petr Trnka is racing on his local hill. Petit and Beneš will also be there. The weather forecast looks good so far, with rather low temperatures and clouds, but there should be no rain.”
The European Hill Climb Championship calendar
29 May: 41st Ecce Homo Sternberk (Czech Republic), 3 July: 71st Trento – Bondone (Italy), 31 July: 13th Hill Climb Limanowa (Poland), 21 August: 77th Course de Côte de Saint Ursanne (Switzerland), 4 September: 28th GHD Ilirska Bistrica (Slovenia), 18 September: 41st Buzetski Dani (Croatia).