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Christian Merli dominates in Osnabrück smashing the record

Christian Merli wins the Int. 54th ADAC Hill Climb Race Osnabrück establishing a new track record. The Scuderia Vimotorsport drive was racing his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM on the 2,030 km track in northwestern Germany, not far from the Dutch border. The event was the 7th round of the German hill climb championship and the 4th round of the FIA Int. Hill Climb Cup. The entry list comprised about 180 drivers from 14 countries. Merli dominated both practice and race, and in 49”817 he set a new track record.

Merli comments on the beautiful event, where he was a guest of honour
“I’m very happy. A very well organised event thanks to Bernd Stegmann and his team. Victory and record. In the third run I wanted to improve further, but the gears wouldn’t change, so I was distracted for a split second and then spun. But it was fine, and the crowd were fantastic. As I said before, a short and difficult track. All is well.”

Practice
At official practice on Saturday the champion from Trentino rewards the 25,000 fans right from the start. He takes the lead followed by the German Alexander Hin (Osella FA 30) and the Swiss Marcel Steiner (LobArt/Helftec Honda). The second and third runs come out identical. The Scuderia Vimotorsport driver clocks the best time in 51”228.

The first race heat
In the first of the three race runs, the Osella FA 30 Judd LRM driver is the last to start and gets red-flagged towards the end of the run because the opponent before him had left dirt on the track. He returns to the start, tops up the tank, and smashes his own record in 49”817. He is followed by Hin and Faustini, so that there are three Osella FA 30 at the top of the classification.

The track
“Short and very difficult; you can’t afford to make any mistakes. After the start there is a straight, ending in a 3rd gear left-hand bend. Immediately after there is a right-hand bend and then a series of medium-fast 3rd gear and 4th gear double bends. Halfway through the track, a large bend in 4th. A technical and narrow track, where the slightest error is punished at the finish line.”

The second race heat
The driver from Trentino conquers the top step of the podium, followed by Steiner and Berguerand from Switzerland.

The third race heat
Merli spins in his Osella FA 30 but picks up again immediately and makes it to the finish line. On accumulated times of the best two runs he is the overall winner.

The podium on accumulated times of the best two runs
1st Merli (Osella FA 30 Judd LRM) 1’39”971. 2nd Berguerand (Lola FA99) 1’42”840, 3rd Petit (Nova Proto NP 01) 1’43”196.

Ruth Scheithauer

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