Timo Schulz pockets the points in Opel e-Rally Cup!
St. Wendel, Germany, August 22nd – Round five of the 2022 Opel e-Rally Cup, featuring close to 92km of timed stages at the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rallye, looked set to provide a tense battle between title rivals 23 year-old Timo Schulz and 22 year-old Max Reiter, with just a point between them heading into the event.
The opening stages did not disappoint: Max Reiter was the first out of the traps, managing to build a ten-second lead by the end of the fifth test, thanks in large part to three consecutive stage wins. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire on stage six with a broken gearbox, allowing Timo Schulz, his closest rival, to take over at the top of the standings. Schultz went on to collect three stage wins of his own, holding onto the lead to the finish despite coming under pressure in the closing stages from Calle Carlberg, who finished as runner-up in the end, 7.9s adrift. Further back, Alexander Kattenbach claimed the final podium spot.
"I feel really sorry for Max. I would have liked to fight with him to the end of the race. He was flying until his retirement," commented Schulz at the finish. "After he retired, we adopted a less aggressive approach, with the Cup overall standings in mind. It was also pretty obvious to me that Calle would be quick on the gravel sections. On the last two stages, we pushed more again. I’m pleased with the win, but the title race is still wide open." Next up for the competitors of rallying’s first all-electric promotional formula is another intense battle at Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine on 8-10 September, as part of the French Rally Championship.
With a second consecutive win, Timo Schulz had plenty to cheer this weekend. He added five bonus points from the Power Stage to those for his overall win, moving clear of his rivals with two rounds of the season to go. He is now thirty-four points ahead of Reiter, who lost a lot of ground this weekend, and Carlberg, who is now tied for second place.