2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Opel has completed its first season after returning to motorsport. In addition to the long-distance touring car races, the Rally Cup in particular exceeded the expectations of those responsible - and also raised new expectations.
By Thomas Flehmer
It is a coincidence that Sebastian Vettel won the Formula 1 title for the fourth time on the weekend on which Opel completed its first motorsport season after its comeback. While the people of Rüsselsheim focus on popular sport at the Opel Astra OPC Cup, the expectations for the Opel Rallye Cup, which ends at the same time, are much higher. "In addition to Vettel, we have absolute top German drivers in most of the motorsport disciplines - meanwhile also in motorcycles again. Only in rallying there is a lack of German youngsters," said Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott of the Autogazette.
Surprise from Fabian Kreim
But after the first completed season, which Opel organized together with the ADAC, Schrott formulated the requirements for the future. "Our goal is to lead German rally talents to the top international," says Schrott, "and we took the first step with the past season."
With the 24-year-old Marijan Griebel, a youngster missed out on overall victory in the Rally Cup by just one second in a dramatic final. "The youngsters are getting more and more on the backs of the established," says Schrott. Fabian Kreim received just as much attention. The 21-year-old from Fränkisch-Crumbach was able to achieve overall victory in round three, the ADAC Rallye Stemweder Berg - in his only fifth rally.
First outlook in the ADAC Junior Team
The reward for the two drivers is a place in the ADAC Junior Team for the coming season. "In the factory team, Griebel and Kreim get their first professional outlook that one does not otherwise experience at this young age," says Schrott. However, both will pursue their professions in everyday life and should slowly be introduced to professional sport.
ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk supports the decision: "Marijan Griebel already belongs to the family as a protégé of the ADAC Sport Foundation. I am delighted that he recommended himself for higher consecrations during the season and during the sighting, because it shows that we are For me, Fabian Kreim is exactly the type of driver that we encounter with the ADAC OpelRallye Cup want to keep the stirrups on the way up - young, ambitious, fast and a really great guy! I'm really looking forward to seeing the boys develop!"
Model Walter Röhrl
Whether the two young drivers will really follow in the footsteps of Walter Röhrl, who started his professional career at Opel in 1973, cannot of course be predicted. But Griebel and Kreim will not be the only ones either, because there is another chance to get a place in the works team in the coming year.
"This year we have selected two drivers because they have shown outstanding performance over the course of the season," said Schrott, "what is certain is that we will promote another driver in the coming season."
Opel expands driver teams
After the first season, motorsport definitely remains worthy of support for Opel. In the coming season, Opel will offer a further 14 vehicles at the Rallye Cup. "We had a total of 80 inquiries," says Schrott about the interest.
And the level was very high, as overall winner Markus Fahrner said: "The ADAC Opel Rallye Cup was one of the strongest championships I have ever driven, probably the strongest. The competition was unbelievable, there were not just one or two fast opponents but at least ten."
Good partnership between Opel and the ADAC
Six more Astra OPCs will also be added to the touring car segment. For Schrott, the fact that interest is so high is also due to the partnership with the ADAC and their professional experience in motorsport.
"Sometimes partnerships turn out to be difficult. With the ADAC, we have succeeded in creating a very positive overall concept right from the start." A concept which, although not a new Vettel, could end up being a successor to the rally legend from the Bavarian Forest.
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