Christian Merli debuts braking the record in the Canary Islands
Christian Merli was invited to Tenerife in the Canary Islands to take part in the 47th Subida a Tamaimo. The 2022 European champion received a fantastic welcome as a special guest. He was racing a car with a new engine, on a 5.200 km track he had not seen before. And he took victory. All in a single day: practice in the morning, two race runs in the afternoon, with the best time in a single race heat determining the winner.
“It was an incredible event, fantastic, and definitely a great honour. I was treated like a king in front of a 20,000 strong crowd. Everything was new to us, both the car and the course. The track was quite bumpy and technically demanding. It started with a fast section, then came a series of medium fast corners and three wide hairpins.”
The new sports racer
“The new Osella is powered by a Peugeot-derived, turbocharged 1170 engine which produces 400 hp. It was the very first outing with this car. There’s still a lot of work to be done to find the right setup, but it was a test for us and I hadn’t expected to take the win against the local drivers. As I said, an incredible, fantastic crowd and a perfect organisation. I don’t know what to say to thank the staff, who wanted me here at all cost.”
The Tenerife weekend
It starts Friday evening with a spectacular parade in front of a huge crowd at Puerto Santiago and the parc fermé. On Saturday morning the official practice in sunny 20 degree weather. The new European champion takes the fastest time in 2’35”048. “We cut the track record by five seconds, but we’ve got problems with the setup and the car feels very nervous. Now we’re looking for the solution.” In the first race run in the afternoon Merli leads again in 2’35”652, followed by Sergio Carmelo Febles Fernandez (Osella PA 30 Evo). The second race heat follows immediately after. In 2’33”002 Christian smashes the record yet again and wins the Tamaimo hill climb.
Translation by Ruth Scheithauer