EHC: MERLI AND VILLA STUN IN AL FITO | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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After winning his Group E2-SS in Portugal, Christian Merli doubled his score in Fito, Spain, and is now comfortably leading the FIA European Hill Climb Championship in Category 2.

The west of the European continent offers no guarantee of good weather: after a wet Sunday in Boticas, Portugal, the previous week, the drivers had to deal with rain in practice and in two of the three race heats at the Spanish round of the European Championship, the Subida Internacional Al Fito.

Part of the course was through undergrowth, so the grip was very tricky and required the drivers to have rally-like balancing skills! This was not enough to disturb Christian Merli (Osella FA30 Zytek). The Italian clearly won each of the three heats and in addition to taking another victory in the Group E2-SS of the single-seaters, which gives him an additional 25 points in the provisional classification of the European Championship, he also won the scratch ranking.

On a very twisty course and a slippery road that was able to compensate for the lack of power of the motorbike engine, albeit turbocharged, that powers his BRC, Javier Villa demonstrated the talent, which was previously evident in GP2 and WTCC. The Spaniard won the E2-SC Group and finished second in the final overall classification, ahead of Sébastien Petit (Nova NP01-2 Zytek) and the young Andorran Raul Ferre, who made a convincing first appearance at the wheel of the new Silver Car CS.

The Category 2 of single-seaters and prototypes was decimated on Saturday evening by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with two positive cases detected among the contingent of a single Italian team and several contact cases that prevented the participation of the cars of Faggioli, Degasperi, Bormolini and Napione. All health and safety and containment measures were followed at the event venue to enable racing to continue for other competitors.

Due to the weather conditions that weighed on the event, it was better to have 4 wheel drive in Category 1. Switzerland's Ronnie Bratschi (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII) and Spain's Alberto Ordonez (VW Polo) made good use of this, with the Swiss taking his second win in a row after the one in Portugal. In the provisional championship standings, Bratschi now leads the way on points with Italian Antonino Migliuolo (Mitsubishi Lancer IX), winner of Group 3 in Spain.

Rankings of the event and standings in the Championship: here.

Next event: Ecce Homo-Sternberk in the Czech Republic, 29-30 May 2021.