Christian Merli starting at the 48th Subida al Fito in Spain
Having taken outright honours in each of the first three rounds of the European Hill Climb Championship, Osella works driver Christian Merli has travelled from Portugal to north of Oviedo in Spain in order to compete in the 4th championship round, the 48th Subida al Fito, on Sunday. The champion from Trentino, who races for the Scuderia Vimotorsport, currently tops the E2-SS group and the Category 2 standings with 75 points, on a par with Simone Faggioli, who leads the two-seater sports car group E2-SC.
The European championship regulations
“The points are assigned based on the group classifications, and so far both Simone Faggioli and I have won our respective groups each time. There have to be at least three cars taking the start in each group, otherwise the points are halved. But the overall victory in a race is still a fantastic achievement. It’s a fierce battle.”
“At the end of the first half of the season, six races, one result gets discarded. Same for the second half of the season.”
The Spanish race in Christian’s words
“A track of 5.350 km. There are three race heats, of which the best two are added up for the final classification. The track is very technical with a series of fast bends, a chicane to reduce the speed, and then the final section in the forest, where there is often residual humidity. I like this race, and obviously we count on the weather, although they are forecasting rain and storms for now, unfortunately. The race is very popular with the Spanish fans.” Merli is the holder of the 2’25”425 track record, established in the first race heat in 2018, before a broken driveshaft forced him to withdraw in the second session, leaving the overall victory to Simone Faggioli.
The European Hill Climb Championship calendar
14 April: Col Saint Pierre (France), 28 April: Rechbergrennen (Austria), 12 May: Rampa Internacional da Falperra (Portugal), 19 May: Subida al Fito (Spain), 2 June: Ecce Homo (Czech Republic), 16 June: Glasbachrennen (Germany), 7 July: Trento – Bondone (Italy), 21 July: Dobsinsky Kopec (Slovakia ), 28 July: Limanowa (Poland), 18 August: Course de Côte de Saint Ursanne (Switzerland), 1 September: Bistrica (Slovenia), 15 September: Buzetski Dani (Croatia).