Jul 13, 2015
Rüsselsheim. The ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team is looking forward to its next big adventure at the auto24 Rally Estonia from July 17 to 19. The event around Tartu, about 180 kilometers south-east of Estonia’s capital Tallinn, is one of the fastest gravel rallies in Europe. So this fifth and penultimate round of the FIA ERC Junior seems to be tailor-made for Swede Emil Bergkvist (21, from Torsåker) and his Opel ADAM R2. The FIA ERC Junior leader and his co-driver Joakim Sjöberg (29, from Ösmo) are accordingly motivated. “These are the conditions I love the most for rallying,” says Bergkvist. “The extremely fast gravel roads in Estonia are going to be tons of fun! I’m sure that they’ll be a great fit to my driving style. The ADAM R2 has proven its competitiveness on every type of surface, so I think I’ll have a good shot at a podium finish.”
An early title win in the FIA ERC Junior is not the main focus, but it is a possibility, as only the best four of six results are counted. For each round, the top ten drivers earn points according to the Formula 1 scheme of the FIA. In addition, up to seven bonus points can be earned for each leg. A driver can earn a maximum of 39 points per FIA ERC Junior round – what Bergkvist already managed to do in Latvia and Ireland. Nevertheless, the Swede – the only driver who could already win the title in Estonia – refuses to engage in any speculation. “I am aware that the title could be decided in Estonia. But I’m not wasting any time thinking about that. Competition in the FIA ERC Junior is way too tough to do anything else but concentrate on the next stage – and then add the points up afterwards.”
Bergkvist’s colleague in the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team, Marijan Griebel, is one of the six drivers who currently have a chance of winning the FIA ERC Junior 2015 title. The 26-year-old from Hahnweiler and his co-driver Stefan Clemens (28, from Thailen) have gotten over their bad luck in Ypres, Belgium, where a puncture in the last stage cost them the victory, and are confident going into the adventure in Estonia. Griebel says: “I am really looking forward to very, very fast gravel roads that are quite different from the other events. That’s what makes the FIA ERC Junior so challenging and exciting. What am I expecting? A bunch of guys, mostly from Scandinavia and the Baltics, who will go flat out from the very first meter. But I think that the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team and the ADAM R2 are in a good position to really give them a run for their money.”
Upbeat and confident, Pole Aleksander Zawada and his French co-driver Cathy Derousseaux are looking forward to Estonia. The winners of the Kenotek Ypres Rallye in Belgium are racing in a customer ADAM R2.
Participants in the auto24 Rally Estonia are facing a total distance of 656.38 kilometers, which includes 16 stages covering 204.86 kilometers. The first leg starts on Friday (July 17) at 20:00 local time (19:00 CEST) with the City Stage in Tartu. The rest of the first leg with nine more special stages takes place on Saturday between 8:52 and 19:52 local time. The second leg with six special stages begins on Sunday at 7:30 and first finishers will cross the finish line in Tartu beginning at 16:00 local time. Eurosport will broadcast daily reports covering the auto24 Rally Estonia. Opel offers live timing on the website www.opel-motorsport.com.
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