- ADAC Rallye Deutschland again captivates tens of thousands of motorsport fans
- Opel has most rally cars in the field at German WRC event
- ADAC Opel Rallye Cup once again proves to be ideal stage for racing talents
Rüsselsheim. Thrilling tenths-of-a-second duels between the world’s best rally drivers in their 380 hp World Rally Cars, some of the most demanding asphalt stages in the world, a total of 226,000 enthusiastic spectators along the tracks and in the picturesquely located service park at Bostalsee, with mostly fabulous summer weather – the ADAC Rallye Deutschland once again offered everything that makes rallying so fascinating.
As in the past six years, Opel again had a strong line-up at the German round of the FIA World Rally Championship. About one-third of the participants tackled the ADAC Rallye Deutschland’s 18 special stages covering a total of more than 300 special stage kilometres in one of the two rally versions of the Opel ADAM.
When talk is of spectacular performances and battles between Europe’s best rally talents, then it is about the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup. In its sixth year Europe’s best brand rally cup already serves as an ideal training ground for young talents, who in turn thrill the fans by going all-out on the special stages. This year 22 drivers from no less than 12 countries (in addition to Germany also Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, France and the USA) compete in the 140 hp Opel ADAM in Cup specification.
The ADAC Opel Rallye Cup again held two rounds within the framework of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. In the first, which comprised seven special stages from Thursday to Friday evening, Grégoire Munster (19) from Luxembourg won ahead of Estonian Karl-Martin Volver (19) and Belgian Romain Delhez (24). In the second, Elias Lundberg turned the tables.
After finishing fourth in the first round, the 20-year-old Swede celebrated his third season victory in the second round. He thus increased his lead in the overall ratings to 67 points, after his closest rivals Munster and Delhez each suffered an accident. Englishman Frederic Field came in second ahead of German Felix Griebel (26, from Hahnweiler), who clinched his first podium position in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup. The best German in the first round was Nico Knacker (21, from Siedenburg).
Opel also played a major role in the international field of participants. Especially the two 190 hp ADAM R2 cars of the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team battled the best in the fight for victory in the RC4 category. No less than 13 of the 18 possible special stage best times went to the rally cars from Rüsselsheim.
Unfortunately, the two Opel Junior Team drivers didn’t achieve the ambitious goal of capturing the fifth consecutive class victory at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Driving in second place, Swedes Tom Kristensson/Henrik Appelskog crashed during special stage 13 on the notorious Panzerplatte. Their Latvian teammates Mārtiņš Sesks/Renārs Francis already had to bow out of the fight for class victory the day before following a mishap.
The total of 28 penalty minutes from the first leg imposed after the premature exit proved to be too big a burden despite six special stage best times on Saturday and Sunday. So ultimately only a fifth-place finish was in the cards.
“Nevertheless, participation in the German WRC event was not only an incredible experience, but also perfect preparation for the Barum Czech Rally Zlín next weekend. At this treacherous asphalt rally in the Czech Republic we want to try to maintain and if possible strengthen our leading position in the Junior European Championship,” explained Sesks. In the FIA ERC Junior U27, Opel is pursuing its fourth European Championship title in a row. After three of six events, the Opel Junior Team members Sesks and Kristensson are in first and third place in the intermediate standings.