Aug 31, 2015
Zlín. The ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team finished the 2015 FIA ERC Junior season with another outstanding performance. Swedish Opel works driver Emil Bergkvist (21, from Torsåker) and co-driver Joakim Sjöberg (29, from Ösmo), who had already captured the ERC Junior title before the end of the season, won the Barum Czech Rally Zlín in the Czech Republic in grand style. Their brand colleagues Aleks Zawada from Poland and his French co-driver Cathy Derousseaux took third place in a privately run ADAM R2.
“I am overjoyed,“ beamed Bergkvist after his third season victory in the FIA ERC Junior 2015’s six races. “This rallye was the perfect end to a perfect season. Everything went according to plan, we were able to control the race from our leading position. We all worked so hard for this success, and it is great to see that our hard work paid off. Many thanks to my fantastic team from Opel Motorsport. Without them none of this would have been possible.”
In a second works ADAM R2, Marijan Griebel (26, from Hahnweiler) and co-drive Stefan Clemens (28, from Thailen) had a stroke of bad luck when they suffered a puncture on their right front tire in the eleventh special stage after a top performance that had them on their way to becoming vice champion. As there were still more than ten kilometers to go to the finish line, the duo was forced to stop for a tire change. A good three minutes were lost and so they were only able to take fourth place in the rallye. In the fight for second place, Griebel came in hard on the heels of the young Latvian Ralfs Sirmacis, finishing a very strong third.
But Griebel was disappointed: “We deserved second place. It is really bitter that a tire defect ruined everything. But with a little time and distance, I‘ll be able to look back at this year with the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team with great satisfaction. We were really competitive in this extremely tough championship and drove a strong season.”
The three customer ADAM R2s were also very fast. Aleks Zawada celebrated his second podium finish in the FIA ERC Junior, where Julius Tannert also could have joined him. But he and his co-driver Jennifer Thielen from Luxembourg lost valuable time on the first day and were stopped by a technical problem on Sunday on the way to the first special stage. The Bavarian duo Dominik Dinkel/Pirmin Winklhofer drove so well in their first European championship race in their ADAM R2 that they would have come in sixth in the ERC Junior (for which they weren’t registered).
Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott was very pleased with the Opel teams‘ performance in the Czech Republic: “This result again shows that the ADAM R2 is currently the benchmark in the R2 class. Our European champion Emil once again gave us a taste of his exceptional talent. I feel very badly for Marijan, who yet again suffered a tire puncture that cost him a better result. My compliment go to Aleks, Julius and Dominik, who were very fast in our customer cars.”
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