Last weekend saw the end of a successful rally season for Opel with the ADAC 3-Städte Rallye around Straubing in Lower Bavaria. An outstanding fourth title win in the FIA ERC Junior U27 was secured by 19-year-old Latvian Mārtinš Sesks, who won the hotly contested junior championship just ahead of his teammate from the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team, Swede Tom Kristensson (27).
Both Opel Junior drivers each won two of the six events. While Sesks won the asphalt competitions in Italy and the Czech Republic, Kristensson – last year’s ADAC Opel Rallye Cup Champion – took first place at the final gravel rallies in Poland and Latvia.
The ADAC Opel Rallye Team’s 2018 season results were flawless. With the one-two victories in the FIA ERC Junior U27, the ERC3 classification for drivers (Sesks ahead of Kristensson) and co-drivers (Renārs Francis ahead of Henrik Appelskog) as well as winning the team classification and the ERC Nation Cup, the team around Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott and team head Thomas Holzer captured all five possible European Championship titles.
Now in its sixth year, the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup has long since established itself as the ideal platform for young talent promotion, served as the spring board into an international career for six drivers (Marijan Griebel, Fabian Kreim, Emil Bergkvist, Julius Tannert, Jari Huttunen and Tom Kristensson), and was stronger than ever in terms of quality and quantity last season. A total of 21 drivers from twelve countries (Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the USA, Estonia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Sweden and England) competed in their identical Opel ADAM Cup cars in eight events – including the highlight, the German round of the FIA World Rally Championship – for trophies and a total of around €100,000 in prize money. Ultimately, Swede Elias Lundberg (20) prevailed ahead of 19-year-old Karl-Martin Volver (Estonia) and Grégoire Munster (Luxembourg).
And it is Lundberg who is to continue the success story of the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team in 2019. The young rally driver was selected as the new ADAC and Opel promoted driver by a jury of experts during a screening at the ADAC 3-Städte Rallye and can look forward to an international programme in what is currently the best rally car in its category, the Opel ADAM R2.
“The past season seamlessly continued the successful years before,” says Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott. “The ADAM R2 once again demonstrated that it is the benchmark in its category. Five European Championship titles in one season document the enormous potential of the vehicle, drivers and team. The ADAC Opel Rallye Cup has underlined its status as Europe’s strongest platform for young talent, boasting a high-quality, internationally diverse field of participants that is unrivalled. And with Elias Lundberg, we have now chosen the seventh driver to be promoted. I’m sure he has the potential to build on and continue the success the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team has enjoyed since 2014.”