Aug 4, 2015
Rüsselsheim. Opel’s motorsport heritage will come alive again at the 43rd AvD (Automobilclub von Deutschland) Oldtimer Grand Prix (August 7 - 9) on the Nürburgring. The Rüsselsheim carmaker will present rallye cars spanning 50 years, plus pre-WWI Grand Prix racing cars, as well as historic and current touring cars. During the racing weekend on the legendary Eifel circuit, the Kadett A, Ascona A, Kadett C GT/E and Kadett E GSi will join the new GTC OPC from the Nürburgring long-distance championship (VLN) for demonstration runs. Opel’s two-door Rekord C, a 150 hp special Group 5 touring car from 1968 with the unforgettable nickname “Black Widow”, is also part of the show. When these fan favorites aren’t sweeping over the track, they can be admired up close as part of the display at Opel’s marquee in the new paddock. Also on show is the newly-crowned 2015 FIA ERC Junior winner, the ADAM R2 of rallye champion Emil Bergkvist.
Opel’s great rallye history already began with the Kadett A. In the early 1960’s, it was initially private drivers who first recognized the sporting potential of the 40 hp Kadett A and took part in rallies and endurance events. The second edition of the Kadett then reinforced Opel’s strong position in amateur competition while also taking the brand onto the big motorsport stage. The Opel Kadett B Rallye Coupé of famous Swedish driver Anders Kulläng, also on display at the Ring, comes from this era. Its successor in rallye sport was the Kadett C GT/E. Walter Röhrl, with Jochen Berger as navigator, took part in the 1976 World Rallye Championship with the yellow/black Kadett. This was followed in 1986 by the front-wheel drive Kadett E, which was run in close-to-production Group A specification. In 1989, Sepp Haider and Ferdi Hinterleitner won the German Rallye Championship with the 220 hp Kadett GSi that is also part of the Opel Classic collection.
Above the compact class, the Ascona A made its mark: in 1974 Walter Röhrl and Jochen Berger were European Champions in an Ascona A, and in 1975 they won the Acropolis Rallye, giving Opel its first victory in a round of the newly-created World Rallye Championship. The original, victorious Röhrl Ascona A is also at the Oldtimer GP and will be the star of this year’s Opel display. Today, 40 years after that Acropolis victory, the ADAM R2 continues the tradition as European Champion on asphalt and gravel, while the GTC flies around the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in the OPC brand cup.
Three racing cars create a bridge between today‘s GTC OPC and the early days of motorsport in Rüsselsheim. An Opel Motorwagen 9/10 PS “System Darracq”, reconstructed by Opel Classic, already took to the track in 1903, and with Fritz Opel behind the wheel won the “Light” Class II category (for vehicles up to 10 hp) in an event at the Niederrad horse racing track in Frankfurt, Germany. The original Opel Grand Prix car is from 1913. This forerunner of today´s Formula One racing cars was state-of-the-art for its period, featuring a 4.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 16 valves (in an inverted V-shaped installation) and an overhead camshaft with vertical-shaft drive. The green Opel racing car from 1914, with a 12.3-liter displacement and 260 hp, marked the pinnacle of Grand Prix car development in Rüsselsheim. All these motorsport milestones will burst into life again at the 2015 Oldtimer Grand Prix on the Nürburgring.
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