As in last year's premiere, the 2023 Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine was the scene of rousing battles in the field of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup "powered by GSe". With his third victory of the season, Calle Carlberg was able to pull away from his pursuers at the top of the world's first electric rally one-make cup, although by no means in a decisive manner. The asphalt event at the foot of the highest mountain in the Alps once again saw a bone-crushing duel between the 23-year-old Swede and his rival of the same age, Max Reiter from Dillingen in Saarland, which Carlberg won by a margin of 17.4 seconds after seven special stages covering a total of a good 131 kilometers.
After Carlberg, as always with his father Torbjörn as co-driver, had won the first three special stages on Friday, a puncture on the left rear of the Scandinavian's Corsa Rally Electric reshuffled the cards around four kilometers before the finish of SS5. But with a fantastic best time in the 29.1-kilometer "King's Stage" (SS6) on Saturday morning, Carlberg turned his 7.8-second deficit to Reiter, who was in poor health, and his co-driver Conny Nemenich into a lead of 14.5 seconds.
Calle did not let this be taken away from him in the final 20-kilometer "Power Stage" and was beaming all over his face at the finish in Morzine: "This victory feels fantastic! We simply enjoyed the rally. That's the difference to last year: I have a lot of confidence in the cockpit, I'm driving relaxed and I'm simply looking forward to every special stage. I'm fully aware that there are still two tough rallies waiting for us and that nothing has been decided in the title fight yet, but the trend is clearly positive!"
In the overall standings, Carlberg is now eleven points ahead of Reiter with two rounds to go in the season, but Max is far from throwing in the towel: "The Rally Mont Blanc was another nice event - maybe even a bit more demanding than last year. We're still taking a relatively relaxed approach to the whole thing, having fun in the car and will try to close the gap at the Rally Stemweder Berg to then hopefully turn the tide at the WRC round."
After a strong performance, Sarah Rumeau and co-driver Julie Amblard finally celebrated their long-overdue first podium finish in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup at their home event. Not least with the second-fastest time in the rally's longest special stage, just 1.3 seconds behind Carlberg, the 28-year-old from Brouzet-lès-Alès not far from Avignon once again proved her enormous potential. "It finally worked out," Rumeau said happily. "The rally went great. We had a great battle with Max. Of course we would have liked to finish second, we were only two seconds behind before the last stage. But when we then hit a stone on the Power Stage and feared a puncture, we decided we'd rather secure the podium. It's nice that we've come closer to the top again here. And we're not done yet either ..."
Narrowly beaten by the fast ladies, Luca Pröglhöf/Christina Ettel and Christian Lemke/Stephan Schneeweiß, who both had also arrived with bad colds, took the final ranks 4 and 5. On the other hand, Cindy Gudet and Joe Baur had bad luck, who both put their Corsa Rally Electric beside the track in SS3 after a strong start in each case. "I overheard an announcement from my co-driver Jeanne," the French mountain queen was annoyed with herself. While the rally was over for Gudet/Rey, Baur and co Fabian Peter were able to start again on Saturday after repairing the left front suspension - although of course without any chance of a top result.
Attractive guest: Miss France in the Corsa Rally Electric
As a very welcome guest in the Opel Service Park, Miss France 2021 Amandine Petit paid a visit to the rally pioneers and was chauffeured around the demanding special stages of the Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine by Sarah Rumeau and the first Electric Cup champion in history, Laurent Pellier, in the Corsa Rally Electric. "The two days as a guest of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup were an incredible experience," beamed the 25-year-old from Caen in northern France. "I confess that at first I had a bit of jitters about driving along, but I quickly realized that Sarah and Laurent had everything under control at the wheel. From then on, I was able to fully enjoy the spectacular drives in the Corsa Rally Electric and literally get electrified."
The seventh and penultimate round of the 2023 ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup "powered by GSe" will take place on September 29/30 as part of the ADAC Rally Stemweder Berg around Lübbecke.
Standings ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup (after 6 of 8 runs): 1. Carlberg, 191 points. 2. Reiter 180. 3. Pröglhöf 126. 4. Rumeau 114. 5. Lemke 91. 6. Van Hoof 76. 7. Baur 72. 8. Gudet 46. 9. Mendoza 43.