An unfortunate start to the season for the ADAC Opel / ERC Youth Team

An unfortunate start to the season for the ADAC Opel / ERC Youth Team

The ADAC Opel Rally Youth Team leaves empty-handed at the start of the 2024 European Championship (ERC), with an early exit from Calle Carlberg and Timo Schulz in the Corsa Rally4 at Rally Hungary.

Opel factory junior Carlberg fought for podium places at the European Junior Championship until he dropped out. The 2024 Junior European Rally Championship (JERC) season opener in Hungary took an unfortunate turn for the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team. After a strong start, Calle Carlberg (23, Sweden) and Timo Schulz (24, Siersburg) had to park their Opel Corsa Rally4 early after each had an incident on one of the special gravel stages near Veszprém, not far from Lake Balaton. .

In particular, Calle Carlberg and fellow Norwegian driver Jørgen Eriksen (30) were traveling so fast that they had to retire. Last year’s champion of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” got along well once in the 212 hp customer race from Rüsselsheim, and set his first best time in the European Championship in the third special stage ( WP) and was inside. a field of 17-strong Rally4s -Cars in the JERC classification in second place. With his eyes on the podium, the speedy Scandinavian was forced to park his car in SS10 after coming into contact with a stone on Sunday morning and causing subsequent chassis damage.

“It was just a small mistake, but unfortunately it had serious consequences,” said Carlberg. “Unfortunately, we hit a stone on the best line in SS8, which caused a puncture. We drove three kilometers with a flat tire, which unfortunately damaged the wishbone, which broke two stages later. It’s a shame, because until then things were going very well. We were able to fight for the podium places without having to take unnecessary risks. A top position would definitely be perfect, but sometimes in rallies things can go wrong. Now it’s time for us to wipe our lips and attack again next time.”

The Hungarian rally for Timo Schulz and co-driver Michael Wenzel (47, Mehlingen) was already over on Saturday morning. Riding close to the piste, the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup 2022 champion damaged the radiator of the Corsa Rally4. Sunday’s planned restart turned out to be impossible after the technical staff of the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team discovered damage caused to the three-cylinder turbo engine during service. “Of course we are very disappointed,” said Schulz. “That’s not how we wanted to start the season. We have to learn from the mistakes and do better in the second race in Gran Canaria. I am looking forward to this rally and I will do everything I can to make up for the bad situation that happened here in Hungary.”

Director of Opel Motorsport Jörg Schrott supported his supporters: “Of course we had thought of the start of the season as different. But the tests here in Hungary were very difficult on the tires and the car. The fact that mistakes can happen is part of the game. It is important that Calle and Timo do not lower their heads and submit reasons for failure down their personal learning curve. The pace is there for both drivers and the Corsa Rally4 once again proved to be quite competitive. I am sure that the ADAC Opel Rally Youth Team will be a force to be reckoned with again at the next round in Gran Canaria.

The second round of the European Junior Rally Championship will take place from May 2 to 4 as part of the Rally Islas Canarias near Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. (ADAC/Opel)