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Christian Merli in France to defend his European title

First race of the season with his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM for Vimotorsport driver Christian Merli. On Sunday, the reigning European champion is lining up for the 49th edition of the Col Saint-Pierre hill climb. The first of ten rounds of the European championship, at St. Jean du Gard north of Montpellier in France, will be contested over two race heats on a 5.080 km track. The European championship classification will be based on accumulated times. For the champion from Trentino it is a trip of around 1000 km.

Christian, starting again
“We put in a lot of work to move the power towards the low rpms, since the new regulations limit our Zytek to 9500 rpm. We’re losing about 30 PS, and with the added ballast the car now weighs 590 kilos. The track consists of a short initial straight, then a winding section, followed by a fast and technically demanding stretch to be taken in high gears. We won here last year establishing a new track record in 2'13"634. Of course we always hope for good weather. For now, they’re forecasting sun and around 20 degrees. I’m really looking forward to the European adventure, where I’ll be competing against the best drivers from the continent.”

The 2023 European Hill Climb Championship calendar
16 April: Col Saint-Pierre (France), 30 April: Rechbergrennen (Austria), 7 May: 51st Subida al Fito (Spain), 21 May: 42nd Rampa Internacional da Falperra (Portugal), 4 June: 42nd Ecce Homo Sternberk (Czech Republic), 18 June: 62nd Coppa Paolino Teodori (Italy), 2 July: 14th Hill Climb Limanowa (Poland), 20 August: 78th Course de Côte de Saint Ursanne (Switzerland), 3 September: 29th GHD Ilirska Bistrica (Slovenia), 17 September: 42nd Buzetski Dani (Croatia).

Translation by Ruth Scheithauer

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