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Merli: first Portugal, then to the US to prepare for Pikes Peak

Scuderia Vimotorsport driver Christian Merli has travelled from Spain to northern Portugal to compete in the 3rd round of the European Hill Climb Championship, the 43rd Rampa Internacional da Falperra near Braga, on Sunday. His Osella FA 30 Judd LRM will bear the number 2.

From Spain to Portugal
“After a 500 km trip from Spain we’ve arrived in Portugal. We’re hoping for good weather, both for us and for the public. This is very important considering the speed of the track, and we’ll be doing our very best. You can’t afford to make any mistakes here. There will be three practice runs and then three race runs, of which the best two make up the final classification. A very fast race on a 5.200 km track where you reach speeds of over 250 km/h. The start, a straight stretch and a fast left-hand bend to be taken in 4th gear. A straight and a right-hand corner in 3rd gear, then a straight going upward, followed by a series of very fast double bends. Braking hard for a left-hand hairpin, then a very fast mixed section and a wide chicane. Next the stretch where you reach maximum speed and a brow with a downhill stretch in 6th gear. A 3rd gear right-hand bend, a left-hand hairpin, a straight, and the finish line. No time to breathe. The slightest error and you’ve lost the race. Let me add that we won’t be taking part in the 4th round of the European championship at Ecce Homo in the Czech Republic, because it clashes with our preparations for Pikes Peak.”

United States
“Our adventure begins and thus the huge effort to prepare for Pikes Peak in the US. On 25 May I’m flying to Colorado to get to know the track of the most spectacular race in the world. In early June I’ll be driving the Wolf Aurobay Gb08 2.0 HP in two mandatory test days for first-timers on the incredible track, which starts at an altitude of 2862 metres and, after 19.900 km, finishes at 4300 metres. The week after there will be more recce in a road car, then from 7 to 9 June more tests with the new sports racer. It will certainly be a very intense period of time familiarising myself both with the behaviour of the Wolf and with the hill. The race in the US is scheduled for 23 June.”

The 2024 European Hill Climb Championship calendar
28 April: Rechbergrennen (Austria), 12 May: 52nd Subida al Fito (Spain), 19 May: 43rd Rampa Internacional da Falperra (Portugal), 2 June: 43rd Ecce Homo Sternberk (Czech Republic), 16 June: 26th ADAC Glasbachrennen (Germany) 14 July: 53rd Trofeo Vallecamonica (Italy), 28 July: 15th Hill Climb Limanowa (Poland), 18 August: 79th Course de Côte de Saint-Ursanne (Switzerland), 1 September: 30th GHD Ilirska Bistrica (Slovenia), 15 September: 43rd Buzetski dani (Croatia).

Translation by Ruth Scheithauer

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