Christian Merli is the 2019 European Mountain Champion. In the 25th edition Ilirska Bistrica in Slovenia, 11th round Cem, the driver of the Scuderia Vimotorsport, behind the wheel of the Osella FA 30 Zytek LRM, climbed on the second step of the podium behind Simone Faggioli in the race with the Norma M20 FC. He won the E2 SS Group, the single-seaters, and thus won the continental title arm in arm with the Tuscan, dominating in group E2 SC. To date, Merli has won the overall in France, Austria, Portugal, Spain and the Czech Republic, while in Bondone, Slovakia, Poland, Switzerland and Slovenia, Beechis has been imposed. The Driver of Team Blue City Motorsport, however, dominated the E2 SS Group in each race. Net parity. Five wins apiece for the two time trial bigs. In November, In Trento, Merli and Faggioli, both will receive the Fia European Hill Climb Championship. It's the first time we'll see two absolute champions, but it's definitely been a hard-fought season to the last metre. Now the two drivers with 250 points apiece have to discard a result and therefore will not show up in Croatia.
Christian, five peers and continental title
"Finally and we are very happy. We fought against a multiple champion and it ends the season in the best way. For me, today, it was important to win the Group. I can say it's been a fantastic season that ends tied with five wins apiece. For the first time, two ex-fair winners will be awarded and I am happy for the whole team and sponsors."
On Saturday morning on the 5,010-kilometre course, he leads the Team Blue City Motorsport rider with Faggioli behind him 1"314. In the second pass Christian lengthens the pace and the Tuscan of the Norma follows him to 2"173. Third reconnaissance and passes to the top French Goeffry Schatz, behind the wheel of the Norma M20 FC, followed by Faggioli who closes in 2'00"788 and Merli third at 1"232 from the leader. Schatz, however, is not a member of Cem and is transparent for the purposes of the standings, so the best time of the three heats is for the Tuscan of Norma with the driver of the Scuderia Vimotorsport at 1"055.
Beeches set a new track record in 1:57.469. Schatz follows him, while Merli is 3rd, first among single-seaters, at 1"641.
Faggioli won in 1'57.607 and Merli dominated the E2 SS Group.
The CEM podium for sum of times in Slovenia
1st Beech (Norma M20 FC), 2nd Blackbirds (Osella FA30 Zytek LRM) at 3"859, 3rd Lampert (Osella FA 30) at 11"266
The CEM calendar
14/4 Col Saint Pierre (France) winner Merli, 28/4 Rechbergrennen (Austria) merli winner, 12/5 Rampa Internacional da Falperra – Portugal winner Merli, 19/5 Subida al Fito (Spain) winner Merli, 2/6 Ecce Homo (Czech Republic) winner Merli, 16/6 Glasbachrennen 2018 (Germany) winner Lampert, 7/7 Trento – Bondone (Italy) winner Faggioli, 21/7 Dobsinsky Kopec (Slovakia) winner Faggioli, 28/7 Limanowa (Poland) winner Faggioli, 18/8 Course de Cate de Saint Ursanne (Switzerland) winner Beech, 1/9 Bistrica (Slovenia) Winner Beech, 15/9 Buzetski Dani (Croatia).