The ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” made a brilliant impression on its first guest appearance in Switzerland.
The 100 kW/136 hp Opel Corsa Rally Electric also cut a fine figure in the foothills of the Swiss Alps and impressed with its strong performance. The decision about the victory was only made in the last special stage.
At first, Terence Callea put himself in the spotlight. With two best times in the first two special stages, the Frenchman pushed himself to the top of the 15-strong field and held his position until the ninth stage. After an error due to a wet spot on the road, a gripping duel broke out between the son-father team Calle and Torbjörn Carlberg and Max Reiter/Cornelia Nemenich, in which Christian Lemke and co-driver Stephan Schneeweiß also got involved after their best time in SS9. Only in the last two stages did the cup veteran Reiter turn up the heat and catch the Swedish opponent by 4.3 seconds. Third was Lemke, who thus celebrated his first podium finish in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup, ahead of the impressive lady duo Sarah Rumeau and Julie Amblard.
“That was hard work,” said a happy Reiter, who also extended his lead in the Cup with his second win of the season. “In terms of characteristics and demands, this was the toughest rally I’ve ever driven. The constantly changing conditions with sometimes dry and sometimes wet surfaces didn’t make it any easier. Choosing the right tyres was a bit of a gamble. It was difficult to push the limit without exceeding it. I’m really happy that it worked out.”
Calle Carlberg was disappointed about the narrow defeat: “I’ve been close so many times, I was ready for the first win. The result is basically okay, but there was disappointment in the cockpit. The confidence was lacking from the start. I’ve never experienced roads like this before. In the last two stages I gave everything again, unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough.”
On the other hand, Christian Lemke was all the happier about his podium finish: “The rally was extremely demanding – as tough as some sections of the Mont-Blanc Rally last year, just over the full distance. The road surfaces were constantly changing, it was uphill and downhill, narrow, fast roads, plus the changing weather; it was really super difficult and sometimes a real tyre gamble. I learned an awful lot, not least with the pace notes. And I’m really happy about third place.”
Sarah Rumeau was once again impressive, even if “I started the rally a bit hesitantly. On Friday afternoon things went really well with second place on slicks in the rain. But no matter which tyres we put on, they were never perfect. Fourth place is okay, even though I think it could have done better.”
Strong rally debut from Cyndie Allemann
The local Cyndie Allemann also made a strong showing. In her first rally, the circuit specialist, who retired in 2015, improved from stage to stage alongside rally veteran Horst Rotter and brought her Corsa Rally Electric safely to the finish at the end of a challenging rally debut. “I’m incredibly tired, I wouldn’t have thought a rally could be so exhausting,” admitted the 37-year-old. “It was an incredible experience. Rallying is so different from racing. The cars have four wheels in both disciplines, but that’s the only thing they have in common. Everything changes all the time, working together with the co-driver is so extremely important if you want to go fast. Horst was the perfect coach for me, I learned so much in such a short time. I loved the family atmosphere in the service park. And even if the result was secondary, I’m pretty happy with our performance. I would like to thank Opel Motorsport and Horst for the great opportunity and the trust.”
The next round of the world’s first electric one-make rally cup takes place on June 17/18 as part of the Rallye du Vosges Grand-Est around Gérardmer.
Points standings ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup 2023 (after 2 of 8 rounds):
1. Reiter, 65.
2. Carlberg 56.
3. Lemke 46.
4. Rumeau 35.
5. Pröglhöf 33.
6. Callea 27.
7. Tarta 23.
8.. Rott 22.
9. Van Hoof 22.
10. Gudet 16.
11. Wittenbeck 9.
12. Baur and Oprea, 8 each.
14. Mendoza 4.