Podium finish for the Opel Juniors in Estonia

Fourth round of the Junior European Rally Championship season at Rally Estonia. Opel Junior Calle Carlberg closes the gap to the top of the standings with 2nd place. Good fifth place for Timo Schulz at the difficult gravel rally in Estonia.

The ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team defied the difficult conditions at the Delfi Rally Estonia and clinched its fourth podium finish of the current season. The 23-year-old Swede Calle Carlberg and his Norwegian co-driver Jørgen Eriksen brought their Opel Corsa Rally4 to the finish in second place for the third time in a row after 14 challenging gravel special stages. As a result, Carlberg moved up to second place in the Junior European Rally Championship drivers' standings and reduced the gap to championship leader Mille Johansson, who finished third in another Corsa Rally4.

Right from the start, Carlberg staked his claim for a podium finish and was consistently in the top three of the JERC standings until the halfway point. After briefly dropping back to fourth place following a total of three punctures, last year's champion of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup "powered by GSe" really turned up the heat again, working his way back up to third place with best times in SS8 and SS11 and even catching Johansson, who had been ahead of him until then, in the final "Power Stage" (SS14).

"Normally, second place doesn't make me completely happy, but this time it does," said a delighted Carlberg. "It was a battle from start to finish. The punctures and a bit of bad luck with the changeable weather set us back again and again. We didn't give up, found a bit of pace again and even managed to take second place in the final stage. That keeps our title hopes alive and was very important. Now we're going to attack again in the last two rallies. I can feel that our first victory in the JERC is not too far away."

Team mate Timo Schulz and co-driver Michael Wenzel once again put in a solid performance, starting the rally perfectly with a best time in the Super Special Stage (SS1) and finishing the gravel spectacle around Tartu in a good fifth place. "What a rally," said the 24-year-old from Siersburg. "The conditions were incredible. Sunshine alternated with heavy rain, aquaplaning and lots of mud, deep ruts and lots of stones on the track. It was really tough at times and we are glad to have brought our Corsa Rally4 home in one piece."

The fifth round of the Junior European Rally Championship will take place from August 30 to September 1 at the Rali Ceredigion in Wales.