Carlberg bounces back in style!
Vosges, France, June 20th 2023 - With Max Reiter having won both of the opening two events of this year’s Opel e-Rally Cup, Calle Carlberg – the man expected to challenge Reiter for the 2023 title – really had to bounce back if he was to keep his within striking distance of the leader in the standings.
Round three of the series, the Rallye Vosges Grand Est provided him with the perfect opportunity to do just that, especially as the very fast Frenchman Terence Callea had to sit this round out. Calle Carlberg had clearly understood what was at stake because he wasted no time in grabbing the lead on the opening speed test, negotiating skilfully the tricky, technical roads in the east of France. He confirmed his strong form on the demanding Moyenmoutier stage (SS2), extending his lead over Max Reiter to 12.0s. However, the championship leader refused to give in and managed to close to within 6.8s of his Swedish rival with two stages to go, as the rally leader suffered a mechanical issue. Carlberg then took advantage of the longest stage of the rally, the famous 20-km long Corcieux test, to move clear again before then finishing with flourish by setting the fastest time on the final stage.
A performance that enabled the 22 year-old Scandinavian to celebrate his first win in the Opel Electric Rally Cup alongside his co-driver and father, Torbjörn. He was joined on the podium by Max Reiter and Austrian driver Luca Pröglhöf, whilst Sarah Rumeau produced another solid performance to finish fourth overall. “Finally!”, exclaimed a delighted Calle Carlberg at the finish. “I think the key to winning was keeping out of trouble. I’m really pleased that the controlled pace we adopted was enough to win. We weren't really on the limit on the Power Stage either. I was almost surprised that we went fastest again on the final stage. I really enjoyed fighting with Max - but I’m almost pleased that he is still ahead in the standings. That way, I won't be first on the road in Weiz…” Rallye Weiz, held in Austria on 14-15 July, is indeed set to be provide another intriguing, high-quality contest.
Thanks to his maiden win in the 2023 Opel Electric Rally Cup, Calle Carlberg is now within a point of Max Reiter in the overall standings, whilst Luca Pröglhöf moves up to third place, two points ahead of Sarah Rumeau.