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Christian Merli racing at Ascoli

Christian Merli has gone to Ascoli Piceno in central Italy to race his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM at the 61st Coppa Paolino Teodori, the fifth round of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM. It is one of the rare occasions for a test in a race which does not clash with the European championship.The Scuderia Vimotorsport driver won here in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The champion from Trentino is perplexed
“I heard that they’d like to put up a chicane towards the end of the track. I think that’s a dangerous choice, because with our type of car we risk collisions. It happened to me last year, when I hit a chicane in a similar situation and damaged the suspension. Two corners later I lost control of the car due to mechanical failure. I’m an advocate of caution, but such a slalom in the name of safety is dangerous. And the drivers get slowed down only in a single bend of the entire race. There can be situations where chicanes are necessary, but here I don’t see the need. I hope they reconsider; otherwise I may do the practice runs to test a few options and then not start on Sunday. This would save me taking unnecessary risks, because we’ve got the Trento – Bondone the week after, which is valid for the European championship. This isn’t the right way to reduce our performances. At least that’s how I see it.”

Christian’s comments on the track
“Rather special, with quite a slippery surface. Two runs of 5.031 km each. The first section is mixed with narrow bends, followed by the straight stretch in the middle, a series of hairpins and then the final stretch.”

The calendar of the Italian hill climb championship CIVM
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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