Second round of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” 2024. Austrian Luca Pröglhöf wins the ELE Rally around Eindhoven. Thrilling battles at the top of the world’s first electric one-make rally cup.

The thrilling guest appearance of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” at the ELE Rally in the Netherlands ended with the victory of Austrian Luca Pröglhöf. After 12 special stages, made even more difficult by the adverse weather conditions, the 24-year-old and his co-driver Christina Ettel were just 8.8 seconds ahead of the Spanish duo Alex Español Jove/Patricia Sáiz Ruiloba. In third place, the French brothers Anthony and Adrien Rott continued their upward trend and celebrated their first podium finish in the world’s first electric one-make rally cup. The French women’s crew Emma Chalvin/Emy Ailloud-Perraud brought their Corsa Rally Electric safely to the finish on the slippery tracks around Eindhoven and were delighted with a strong fourth place in the end.

“I’m delighted to have won this really demanding rally,” said a beaming Pröglhöf. “I was a bit too cautious on the first day in view of the heavy rain, especially as our team boss Manfred Stohl’s message was clear: keep the car safe, our rallies are still to come! On Saturday, the feeling in the car was right from the start. The night stages on both days were a lot of fun and showed that the teamwork between Christina and me works well. And even if she doesn’t tell me any stage times, as usual, so I don’t know how things are going, I realize all the time: we’re fighting at the front, but it’s incredibly close. Looking at the final result confirmed this impression …” With the victory, Pröglhöf also took the lead in the interim Cup classification.

After the third-to-last stage, Pröglhöf and Español were still in the lead at tied time (!), but then the Iberian lost 17 seconds on the following stage and was unable to close the gap completely until the finish. “We made a bit of a mistake there,” admitted Español. “Nevertheless, I’m satisfied with our performance. We have improved compared to the season opener and are now getting more out of ourselves and the car. All I can say is: the Corsa Rally Electric is fun, and the Cup is fun, too.”

With the best times in SS5 and SS8 and a spotless performance over the entire rally, the Rott brothers proved that they have finally arrived at the top of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup. “I hope the trend continues,” laughed driver Anthony. “It’s super close at the front. But we feel that we can keep up. Things went very well, especially in the rain. Our biggest problems on Friday were a smudged windshield and a small cat that jumped in front of our car. Fortunately, I was able to brake in time. But we lost a lot of time there.”

Emma Chalvin was also beaming from ear to ear after her fourth place: “I’m really happy with our rally. The main objective in these adverse conditions with rain, mud and darkness was to keep the car on the road and not make any serious mistakes. Of course, we also benefited from a few slips by our competitors, but as they say: To finish first you first have to finish. So Emy and I tried not to take any unnecessary risks. We managed that well. I’m very satisfied, it was a lot of fun again.”

In contrast, two teams that had finished on the podium at the start of the season in Sulingen were unlucky. In the lead, Hungarians Bendegúz Hangodi and Dániel Petrovszki got stuck in the same muddy ditch in the third special stage after a harmless excursion, which had already been the undoing of France’s Alizée Pottier/Joanna Verdier in the opening stage. By the time the almost undamaged Corsa Rally Electric could be refloated by the track staff, the grace period had expired and a 20-minute penalty was imposed on both teams. After setting the fastest time in SS1, the winners of the opening round, Christian Lemke/Jan-Eric Bemmann, were still battling for the top positions when their car rolled out in the first Saturday stage (SS5) with a problem caused by water ingress at a plug connection. Although the fault was found during service and easily rectified, it was not possible to achieve more than tenth place at the end and third place in the final Power Stage.

The third round of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” will take place on June 15/16 at the Rallye Vosges Grand-Est around Gérardmer, not far from the French-German border.

ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” points standings after 2 of 8 rounds

1. Pröglhöf 60 points.

2. Español 48.

3. Rott 45.

4. Hangodi 44.

5. Lemke 42.

6. Chalvin 27.

7. Pottier and Kurstjens, 16 each.

9. Kamermans and Bayer, 14 each.

11. Melse 12.

12. Wittenbeck 9.

13. Baudet 8.


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