Opel has reason to celebrate after its factory and customer Adam R2 teams gave the automaker a 1-2-3 podium at the FIA ERC Junior Rallye Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium. The event was won by Poland’s Aleks Zawada and his French co-driver Cathy Derousseaux in their customer Adam R2, with Opel ADAC works drivers Marijan Griebel and Stefan Clemens taking second and customer team Julius Tannert and Jennifer Thielen taking third.
Zawada’s fellow Opel works drivers Emil Bergkvist and Marijan Griebel both had potential to take the win early on in the rally, however they were held up with numerous mishaps. Bergkvist was forced to retire his Adam R2 in the twelfth of seventeen stages following engine trouble, while Griebel suffered a left rear puncture shortly before the finish line while carrying a 36-second lead. Griebel finished the race riding on his rim, but was relegated to second after losing significant amounts of time.
“A fantastic day, a fantastic car, a fantastic rallye,” said Opel’s Zawada post-race. “Luck also plays a role, and the score is settled at the very end. I am really sorry for Emil and Marijan. Both deserved to win. But I am overjoyed that our efforts resulted in victory.”
Grievel was understandably disappointed following the loss, but expressed happiness in regards to Opel Motorsport’s performance.
“After a few days, I’ll probably be able to be pleased with our good performance and Opel Motorsport’s superior showing in this magnificent setting in front of thousands of excited spectators here in Ypres. But right now disappointment is the overwhelming feeling. Opel’s triple victory clearly proves that especially on asphalt, the ADAM R2 currently sets the benchmark in its class. So we’re going into the last two FIA ERC Junior events in Estonia and the Czech Republic with a lot of self-confidence.”