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Christian Merli first in Spain

Christian Merli, behind the wheel of his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM, wins the 51st Subida al Fito north of Oviedo in Spain, the third round of the European championship. Leaving nothing for his opponents, he finishes first in all three practice runs and all three race runs. The reigning European champion has thus dominated the last five editions of this event, where the best two of the three race runs are added up for the final classification. The 5.350 km track is very technical with a series of fast bends and a chicane to reduce the speed. It has no hairpins, and the final section is in the forest, where there is often residual humidity.

Christian, your third victory this season
“The race went well. I’d even hoped for more, but the weather didn’t play ball. It rained on Saturday evening and during the night, and in the woods the track was wet. We’re sorry for Alexander Hin, who crashed with the Osella FA 30 which our team takes care of. So we’ll stay here in the next few days to get his Osella ready for the next round at Falperra in Portugal.”

Practice
The track record of 2’25”425 is Merli’s, established in the first race run in 2018. In the first practice run on Saturday the champion from Trentino is first, with Petr Trnka from Czechia (Norma M20 FC) and Joseba Iraola Lanzagorta from Spain (Nova NP01) behind him. In the second run Merli sees the clocks stop at 2’30”461, 0”688 ahead of Iraola Lanzagorta and 5”172 ahead of Trnka. In the final practice run the ranking of the first three is identical.

Race
The first race heat sees the Vimotorsport driver finish first, followed by Iraola Lanzagorta and his compatriot Diaz Nieto (BRC BR53). In the second race heat, Merli scores again the fastest time, ahead of Trnka and Iraola Lanzagorta. In the third session, Merli is again first, with Iraola Lanzagorta and Trnka behind him. With the two best race runs added together for the final classification, Merli obtains his third victory in three races.

Podium overall
1st Merli (Osella FA 30 Judd LRM), 2nd Iraola Lanzagorta (Nova NP01) 2”895 behind, 3rd Trnka (Norma M20 FC) 3”902 behind.

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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