Is Christian Merli considering the rally?
On Sunday Christian Merli, 2022 European hill climb champion, will be starting at the Rally del Brunello in Tuscany, the final round of the Italian offroad rally championship. He will be behind the wheel of the Fabia R5 Evo 2 of Team Erreffe, with Massimo Furlini as his co-driver.
Christian, the famous offroad track in Tuscany on Sunday
“After seventeen races and sixteen wins on sealed surfaces, I’m treating myself to this offroad event to have fun. I haven’t participated in a rally for a year. I’ve seen the special stages in onboard videos; they are challenging and fast. They used to be the stages of Sanremo. It’ll be hard to achieve a good result, but we’re there for the fun, and above all we’re hoping for good weather.”
... and Monte Carlo in January
“We’ll be opening the 2023 season at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the first round of the world championship, in mid-January. The car and the team will be the same, but my co-driver will be Marco Zortea. I turned fifty this year, I’ve been racing for thirty years, and I’ve won the European championship for the fourth time. This extraordinary event is the fulfilment of a great dream. Four days of racing, eighteen special stages, and on Thursday it begins in the dark with the legendary Col de Turini. On the track in the Principality you often get snow, ice and dry sections. It’s an event where any motorsport enthusiast dreams of being at the start. Only about seventy teams are admitted. No less than 325 kilometres of special stages to be tackled with the stopwatch in hand. It’ll be fantastic, and already now I’d like to thank the sponsors and those who are doing the reccing, which is so important at this event.”
The Rally del Brunello
The shakedown starts at Santa Marcella, Buonconvento, at 13.00 on Saturday. The opening ceremony takes place in Piazza del Popolo at Montalcino near Siena at 19.30. On Sunday there will be seven timed special stages of a total of 69.09 km on a 240.87 km track.
Translation by Ruth Scheithauer