Christian Merli fantastic 4th overall at Rally del Brunello
Christian Merli had not done a rally for a year. Racing a Skoda Fabia R5 Evo 2 with Massimo Furlini as a co-driver, the 2022 European hill climb champion finished a fantastic fourth overall after a simply extraordinary performance at the Rally del Brunello. The final round of the Italian offroad rally championship was held in Tuscany, near Siena, on the special stages of what used to be the legendary Sanremo when it was part of the world championship. The versatile driver from Trentino was not in the least intimidated by the fight against opponents who had been competing on gravel, mud and dust all year. After seventeen hill climb races and sixteen wins, Merli was returning to his great passion, demonstrating his talent and adaptability. For the record, victory went to Paolo Andreucci, followed by Mabellini and Oldrati.
Christian, a fantastic fourth place overall
“I still can’t believe it. I’m very happy, and it couldn’t have gone better in an Italian championship event with all the big names racing. At the shakedown on Saturday I span on the wet stage and got stuck in the mud.
So I couldn’t optimise the setup of the 4x4. To be honest, I felt discouraged for a moment. We started cautiously into the race, and after a few kilometres we saw that everything was going well. Just one error on the third special stage, the Badia Ardenga, where I was late entering a bend. Beautiful special stages, and I’d like to thank the Team Erreffe, the Scuderia Vimotorsport and my co-driver Furlini, who was on his first outing with the Skoda.”
The Rally del Brunello had an overall length of 240,87 km, of which 69 km made up the seven special stages.
Translation by Ruth Scheithauer