Germany's "other" automaker is keen to get its racing on with new endurance and rally initiatives.
Mercedes. Porsche. BMW. Audi. These are all German automakers with a strong background in motor racing. Even Volkswagen has a slew of competition victories to its name. But Germany has another carmaker on its soil. Its name is Opel, and it's getting in on the action, too. GM's European division points to past victories in rallying, DTM touring cars and Nurburgring endurance racing as the launching pad for its new racing initiatives that will utilize both the new Adam city car and the Astra OPC.
This rally-spec Adam complies with the FIA's R2 standard and will form the backbone of the Opel Adam Cup, a new category in the ADAC Rally Masters with a specific focus on up-and-coming young drivers. The circuit-based part of Opel's new racing program will place the Astra in the VLN Endurance Championship that's centered around the Nurburgring and includes the famous 24-hour race there. "These new motorsports activities play an important role in the strategic re-alignment of the company," says Opel's Thomas Sedran. Whether they succeed in imbuing the struggling brand with the excitement it needs remains to be seen, but we'll sure enjoy watching them try.