Exciting Start to 2024 ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup

With 15 vehicles, participants from eight nations, including 14 women in the cockpits, and the much-celebrated first victory of Christian Lemke at the season opener of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” in Sulingen. After an exciting battle on more than 100 kilometres of asphalt, the 23-year-old was 14.7 seconds ahead of the Austrian Luca Pröglhöf, who is one of the favourites for the title in 2024, not least since his victory in last year's season finale. Third place went to the Hungarian Bendegúz Hangodi, who caught everyone's attention with a best time in the first special stage.

At the finish, the joy of winner Lemke and his co-driver Jan-Eric Bemmann knew no bounds: “I don’t have the words to describe my feelings! Since the shakedown on Thursday, I had a great feeling in the car and the new tire compound from Michelin,” said the Cup veteran, who already competed in the first season world’s first electric rally one-make cup in 2021. “The good gave us confidence so that we could attack straight away. Driving through these treacherous stages with the Opel Corsa Rally Electric was great fun. And now I’m just happy!”

Luca Pröglhöf and co-driver Christina Ettel were also happy with their start to the season: “On the first day, after a six-month break from rallying, I initially drove a bit too cautiously. But the night test was really good for me and I quickly regained confidence in the car. Today I started the day well and am completely satisfied with how everything went.”

Third-placed Bendegúz Hangodi and his co-driver Dániel Petrovszki travelled from Hungary to northern Germany with high expectations. Hangodi said: “The podium finish is great, even though I had the feeling that my performance got better as the rally progressed, but the results didn’t. It was nice to see that we have the potential to fight for the championship. And that is the clear goal. I should be happy with my debut but I am a perfectionist.”

Impressive appearance by DTM champion Timo Scheider

Timo Scheider also left a really strong impression. In his second guest start in the 100 kW (136 hp) Corsa Rally Electric, the 45-year-old DTM champion from 2008 and 2009 mastered the demanding special stages at the ADAC Rallye Sulingen brilliantly and ultimately took fifth place overall, which even he did not necessarily expect. Perfectly guided by his 24-year-old co-driver Jara Hain, the former Opel works driver Scheider himself gave a taste of his driving skills in the infamous military area in the Eickhofer Heide (formerly the IVG site) and set the third fastest time on the winding asphalt on Saturday.

Scheider was satisfied at the finish: “I was aware from the outset that the leaders in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup would be extremely close together, with experienced people fighting against young rookies for every tenth. That’s why I’m really happy with our performance. From the first special stage we were able to continuously improve. Jara and I were a great team, she led me through the rally brilliantly. Of course, a big thank you goes to Opel for giving me the chance to be here. I have to admit, the passion to do more with it has been ignited.”

Opel Motorsport boss Jörg Schrott added: “What a great start to the fourth season of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup. We experienced a thrilling rally and I am delighted for Christian Lemke. This year’s field is exciting, lots of young people, almost half of them women, all fast and in a good mood. What more do you want?”

The second round of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” will take place on May 24/25 as part of the ELE Rally around Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Results ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe“ / ADAC Actronics Rallye Sulingen:

1. Christian Lemke/Jan-Eric Bemmann (D) 1:12,17,3 h
2. Luca Pröglhöf/Christina Ettel (A) +14.7 sec
3. Bendegúz Hangodi/Dániel Petrovszki (H) +20.1 sec
4. Anthony Rott/Adrien Rott (F) +37.7 sec
5. Timo Scheider/Jara Hain (D) (Gaststarter) +46.5 sec
6. Alex Español Jove/Lorena Romero (E) +1:18.1 min
7. Axel Bayer/Clara Bettge (D) +2:11.1 min
8. Hank Melse/Joep van Heugten (NL) +3:15.0 min
9. Lyssia Baudet/Pauline Denis (B) +3:28.2 min
10. Emma Chalvin/Emy Ailloud-Perraud (F) +4:26.3 min


Standings ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe“ after 1 of 8 rounds:

1. Lemke 31 points
2. Pröglhöf 29 points
3. Hangodi 27 points
4. Rott 21 points
5. Español 19 points
6. Bayer 14 points
7. Melse 12 points
8. Baudet 10 points
9. Chalvin 8 points
10. Pottier 6 points
11. Felke 5 points
12. Steffe 4 points
13. Wittenbeck 3 points
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