Christian Merli racing at Falperra in Portugal
Scuderia Vimotorsport driver Christian Merli has travelled from Spain to northern Portugal to compete in the 4th round of the European Hill Climb Championship, the 42nd Rampa Internacional da Falperra near Braga, on Sunday. His Osella FA 30 Judd LRM will bear the number 2. So far the 2022 champion has won in France, Austria and Spain. Three races and as many wins. In Portugal, he has dominated the 2019 and 2022 editions and also holds the track record of 1’46”944.
“We stayed in Portugal to repair Alexander Hin’s Osella. The parts didn’t arrive until the last minute, and we did our best to get the FA 30 ready. We wish Alex a good race and we hope for good weather, both for us and for the crowd. In Portugal you can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
The Portuguese event in Merli’s words
“Three practice runs and 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.”
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