Exciting start to the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” 2023. Max Reiter wins the Cup classification as part of the ADAC Actronics Rallye Sulingen. Newcomer Terence Callea on the podium, strong performance by FFSA lady Sarah Rumeau.

The ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” has made a perfect start to the season at the ADAC Actronics Rallye Sulingen. The 14 teams from seven nations offered thrilling rallying in their 136 hp Opel Corsa Rally Electric with several lead changes and a fierce battle between the Cup veterans and the ambitious newcomers.

In the end, Max Reiter, an old hand at the Cup, prevailed. The rally had started anything but optimally for the 23-year-old from Saarland with a puncture in the first special stage (WP) in the treacherous Eickhofer Heide (formerly IVG site), a former ammunition depot. But as a result, Reiter and his co-driver Conny Nemenich turned up the heat, took command from WP6 and finally made the victory clear with their fourth best time in the eleventh and final stage. “After losing time in WP1, there was no point in tactics, so we went all out on the attack, especially on the long stage in the IVG terrain. That worked great. I’m really happy that it worked out,” said the 2021 runner-up and third overall in 2022

While Terence Callea (France), Luca Pröglhöf (Austria), Calle Carlberg (Sweden) and Cristiana Oprea (Romania) also suffered a puncture in the opening stage, Sarah Rumeau seized the opportunity and marked the first best time for a woman in the special stage since the founding of the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup in 2013.

Subsequently, the 27-year-old Frenchwoman continued to demonstrate that the best time had by no means been a flash in the pan and was constantly among the best in the FFSA Academy’s Corsa Rally Electric. In the end, the two-time French Rally Champion finished in a much-noticed fifth place alongside co-driver Julie Amblard. “We actually coped better with the adverse external conditions yesterday than we did today. I still have to learn how to move the Corsa Rally Electric fastest on dry asphalt and how to get the most speed out of the corners,” said Rumeau. “Overall, however, I’m satisfied with our debut in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup. Now we will continue to fine-tune the details in order to be even further up the field.”

After her problems in WP1, Callea and Reiter set out in pursuit of the Frenchwoman. In the fifth special stage, the first change of lead finally took place when the strong rookie Callea pushed past his compatriot to the front. In the end, the Saintéloc driver crossed the finish line in second place together with co-driver Enzo Mahinc – all the more remarkable as the 26-year-old has only been involved in rallying since 2020. By winning the FFSA junior scouting “Rallye Jeunes”, from which rally idols such as Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier had already emerged, Callea has already proven its enormous potential. “It was a very demanding rally, not least in view of the lousy weather on the first day. But I love it very much. I still lack the experience to be able to push myself to the limit in all conditions. But the beginning was okay.”

Last year’s Cup runner-up Calle Carlberg, as always at the behest of his father Torbjörn, also recovered from bad luck in WP1, was the fastest three times in total and secured the last podium place on the last two stages. The victim was Christian Lemke, who nevertheless left a strong impression. The 22-year-old local hero from Martfeld was at the front from the start and moved up to third place with the best time in WP6 (at the same time as Carlberg). In the end, Lemke and Co Stephan Schneeweiß ended up in 4th place.

Meanwhile, Luca Pröglhöf and co-driver Christina Ettel fell back after another puncture, as did Joe Baur/Fabian Peter and Johannes Wittenbeck/Christian Koke with harmless but very time-consuming slips in WP4. Meanwhile, Baur and Pröglhöf showed their talent with ranks 2 and 3 behind Carlberg in the “Power Stage” (WP10).

“That was electric rallying at its finest,” said Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott on Saturday evening. “We didn’t have any technical problems with our Corsa Rally Electric, and the field was closer than ever. I was particularly impressed by Sarah Rumeau’s great performance. In general: Teams from seven nations, three women-only teams and all very close together – we have a great squad at the start. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

For the second round of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” 2023, the speedy electric cars will meet for the first time in Switzerland on June 2/3 at the Rallye du Chablais around Aigle.

ADAC Ranking of the Opel Electric Rally Cup 2023:

1. Reiter, 30 points

2. Callea and Carlberg, both 27

4. Lemke 20

5. Rumeau 16

6. Introduction 15

7. Van Hoof 14

8. Decay 10

9. Tarta and Baur, both 8

11. Gudet 6

12. Opera 5

13. Wittenbeck 3