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Impressive Rally Year for Opel

Oct 24, 2016

  • ERC Junior 2016 champion: German Marijan Griebel wins in works Opel ADAM R2
  • Effective young talent promotion: Opel strengthens German rally sport
  • Opel Junior 2017: Finn Jari Huttunen qualifies for next season
Opel News - Marijan Griebel in his Opel ADAM R2 is the first German European Rally Champion since 15 years

Rüsselsheim. Opel looks back at an impressive 2016 rally season. The highlight of the year was the triumphant title victory captured by Marijan Griebel in the FIA ERC Junior, making it the second consecutive time the title went to an Opel ADAM R2 driver. The 27-year-old from Hahnweiler, Germany snatched the title from his British teammate Chris Ingram (22, from Manchester) in a thrilling finale in Latvia, celebrating the first European Champion title for a German driver in fifteen years. It was the crowning achievement of a joint journey with Opel, which began in 2013 with the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Cup victory and Griebel’s subsequent advancement into the Opel works team. Opel’s dominance in the ERC Junior was also underlined by Pole Lukasz Pieniazek in a privately run ADAM R2 as well as by the German works driver Julius Tannert who finished the season in third and fourth place.


The ADAM R2 also celebrated category championship titles in the national rally championships in Spain (Angel Paniceres), Denmark (Jacob Lund Madsen), the UK (Robert Duggan) and the Netherlands (Timo van der Marel). In the Spanish asphalt championship that ends in November, junior champion Paniceres and his experienced teammate Esteban Vallin have a good shot at the R2 title victory.

Opel News - Strong performance: Opel ADAM Cup at ADAC 3-Cities Rally

In the 2017 ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team, Jari Huttunen succeeds Marijan Griebel, who leaves the team due to his age. The 22-year-old Huttunen from Kiuruvesi in central Finland really made his mark on the fourth season of the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup. After winning six of the seven Cup races, Huttunen then also came out ahead in the large driver screening for the five best drivers in the 2016 Cup season. With this, the young Finn advanced into the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team and will take part in next year’s ERC Junior as an Opel works driver in the ADAM R2. The rest of the team members will be announced in the coming weeks.


The ADAC Opel Rallye Cup has further reinforced its status as the toughest rally brand cup in Europe. With drivers from seven countries (Germany, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, UK, Italy and Czech Republic), the Cup is more international in its fourth season than ever before. The top driving performance level was repeatedly confirmed with a glance at the overall standings of the German Rally Championship, where the young hotshot drivers in their 140 hp ADAM Cup specification cars regularly riled competitors in considerably more powerful cars.

Opel News - Sporty speedster: Opel wins many rallyes thanks to the ADAM R2 and an ambitious team

Opel and ADAC’s rally promotion program has thus again proven its coherence and impact in its fourth year. In future, the joint young talent platform is to be expanded, particularly from the German perspective. The ADAC Opel Rallye Academy introduced in 2016 shows young motorsport enthusiasts the way into rallying and starts at the basis with effective talent promotion. The concept is popular: around 1,000 young people applied for the first stage of the three-stage rally school. And the first winners of the ADAC Opel Rallye Academy are: driver Tom Kässer and co-driver Stephanie Voigtländer qualified for a spot in the cockpit in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup 2017.


“The 2016 rally season could hardly have been better for Opel,” says Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott. “The ADAM R2 once again showed that it is the car to beat in its class in Europe. The ADAC Opel Rallye Cup has firmly established itself as a spectacular, affordable stage for young talent. And with the ADAC Opel Rallye Academy, we have created a new, effective base structure for young German rally talents. This is what effective talent promotion looks like.”