Christian Merli racing at Rechberg in Austria
After his victory in France, Christian Merli will be lining up in his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM at the second round of the European Hill Climb Championship, the 49th Rechbergrennen at Tulwitz north of Graz in Austria. Merli has won at this event four times, from 2016 to 2019. The track has been shortened to 4.460 km, and there will be three official practice runs on Saturday and two race runs on Sunday, with the two Sunday times added up for the final classification.
The Austrian race is back in the European championship
“It’s back, and we’ll try to conquer the podium for the fifth time. We’re returning to Austria after three years. Our Osella FA 30 Judd LRM is 22 kg heavier, it’s higher from the ground, the engine has been reduced from 11000 to 9000 rpm, and it has 35 PS less. In France things went pretty well. I had hoped for better times, but the new regulations limit the performance, and we have to adapt. Now we’re working even harder to make the car run smoothly. It won’t be easy here, which is an extra motivation to do our best.”
The 4.460 km track
“The track is now 490 m shorter. The start is flat, and there is at once a chicane. Another fast section with a series of double bends in high gears. Then four wide hairpins, a fast section and a 90 degree left-hand corner just before the finish line. We’re hoping for good weather; the forecast is quite uncertain for now. Three official practice runs where we’ll decide on the best setup and tyres for the two race runs. It’s a well organised event and I like it.”
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