With an outstanding performance, Calle Carlberg won the fifth round of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup "powered by GSe" at the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rally. The 23-year-old Swede, guided as always by his father Torbjörn in the "hot seat" of the Opel Corsa Rally Electric, set the fastest time in nine of the ten special stages and in the end celebrated his second victory of the season with a lead of 35.4 seconds over Max Reiter (23, Dillingen) and his co-driver Conny Nemenich.
The title fight between Carlberg and Reiter has thus finally broken out. While the Scandinavian traveled to St. Wendel five points behind the local hero, Carlberg now leads the overall standings of the world's first electric rally one-make cup by the same margin ahead of Reiter.
"I'm delighted with my second victory in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup," beamed Carlberg. "We found a good rhythm in the cockpit right from the start. Nevertheless, I was pretty tense for a long time because I really wanted the win. It wasn't until Saturday afternoon, when the lead had grown a bit, that I loosened up. It's good to be at the top of the standings now. On the other hand, it's only a snapshot. Nothing changes in my forecast: the title will only be decided at the finale!"
"We tried everything, but in the end it just wasn't enough," said three-time season winner Reiter. "In SS5 we cracked a wishbone, which cost us some time. Towards the end it became clear that we probably wouldn't be able to catch Calle, so we wanted to score full points at least on the Power Stage. Unfortunately, I made a big mistake right there, so we actually came away empty-handed. I congratulate Calle on the victory and at the same time promise him a tough fight for the coming rallies."
Behind the two perennial rivals, Joe Baur drove onto the winner's podium with Fabian Peter at his side for the first time in his still young rally career and was suitably delighted: "It finally worked out," the 24-year-old from Renchen said happily. "We've been pretty close a few times, but here we managed a really clean rally from the first to the last stage. This makes the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup even more fun!"
Sarah Rumeau, on the other hand, was unlucky. The 28-year-old Frenchwoman and her co-driver Julie Amblard were once again aiming for their first podium place when they were slowed down by a problem with the transmission of their Corsa Rally Electric on the fourth special stage (SS Windpark). Although the fast ladies from the FFSA Academy were able to get back into the action the following day, they were unable to score more than eighth place and a point for fifth place in the "Power Stage" (SS9). In the standings, Rumeau/Amblard are now 16 points behind the Austrians Luca Pröglhöf/Dina Ettel, who had to settle for fourth place this time after two podium finishes in a row. Fifth place went to Christian Lemke and Stefan Schneeweiß, who also hold this position in the overall standings.
For their sixth showdown of the year, the Cup teams will travel to France the week after next, where the Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine will be another highlight of the season for the nippy electric cars.
The TV channel n-tv will summarize the past four rounds of the season of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup "powered by GSe" (Rallye du Chablais, Rallye Vosges Grand-Est, Rallye Weiz and ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rallye) in its next magazine "PS - Die Deutsche Rallye-Meisterschaft" on Saturday, August 26, starting at 12:10.
Standings ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup (after 5 of 8 rounds): 1. Carlberg 156 points. 2. Reiter 151. 3. Pröglhöf 105. 4. Rumeau 89. 5. Lemke 74. 6. Baur 62. 7. Van Hoof 56. 8. Gudet 46. 9. Tarta 39.