Christian Merli dominates in Croatia
Christian Merli in his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM takes the victory also in the final round of the European Hill Climb Championship, the 41st Buzetski Dani in northern Istria. The Scuderia Vimotorsport driver has thus won all championship events this year: in France, Portugal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Slovenia and Croatia. He also dominated at Costo and Sarnano in Italy and at Osnabrück in Germany. He climbed the top step of the podium thirteen times in thirteen races, and he smashed three records.
“It wasn’t easy today. We didn’t do the practice runs on Saturday because of the bad weather, and so the first race run served to finetune our car. A fantastic championship, and it couldn’t have gone any better. I’m very happy. The track? A 5 km hill climb with an initial mixed section and a right-hand hairpin half way through the track. Then another fast stretch followed by three hairpins left, right, left. A fork in the road in a residential area, after which the road narrows. A demanding bend and then the finish line.”
The weekend in Croatia
In the first practice run the touring cars go first. Shortly before it is the turn of the sports racers, rain sets in. There is no point in taking undue risks.
The first race heat
It is cloudy and the track is dry. Merli clinches the fastest time, followed by Trnka from the Czech Republic (Norma M20 FC) and Hin from Germany (Osella FA 30). The driver from Trentino wants to stay with the championship until the very end. “The car was jumping a lot because of the bumpy surface.”
The second race heat
The sun comes out for the second race heat. The champion from Trentino takes the start at 17.22. He finishes first in 2’06”397, 2”485 ahead of Trnka (Norma M20 FC) and 6”808 ahead of Hin (Osella FA 30).
The overall podium
1st Merli (Osella FA 30 Judd LRM), 2nd Trnka (Norma M20 FC) 3”913 behind, 3rd Hin (Osella FA 30) 12”128 behind.
Translation by Ruth Scheithauer