The ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team and the Junior European Rally Championship (JERC) are a real success story for the brand with the lightning.
The background to this is the joint striving for effective and efficient promotion of young talent in rallying by the long-standing partners Opel and ADAC, who have played a pioneering role here for many years. Currently, no other automobile manufacturer is as successfully and sustainably involved in junior rallying as Opel.
The basis of the sponsorship pyramid, which was conceived as a team effort, is the one-make cup jointly organized by ADAC and Opel, which was held between 2013 and 2018 with the Opel ADAM Cup and, since the 2021 season, with the brand-new Opel Corsa Rally Electric. From the very beginning, the best talents from the Cup were given the unique opportunity to recommend themselves for promotion to the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team with outstanding performances and, initially from 2014, to mix up the European junior elite with the Opel ADAM R2.
Four European Junior Championship titles in a row by Opel drivers Emil Bergkvist (2015), MarijanGriebel (2016), Chris Ingram (2017) and Mārtiņš Sesks (2018) prove how effective this promotion of young talent was.
Consequently, the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team was also reactivated with the start of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup 2021. Instead of the ADAM R2, the Opel Corsa Rally4 has been used since the 2022 season. The new customer sports car from Rüsselsheim has a highly efficient 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo engine that produces a proud 212 hp and immediately set impressive scents in various national championships. So it was high time to take on the toughest competition to be found in the European junior sector with the new competition vehicle - namely the extremely competitive juniors in the JERC.
At the wheel of the Corsa Rally4 entered by the experienced Austrian team Stohl Racing was Frenchman Laurent Pellier, the first overall winner of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup and thus the first champion of an electric rally one-make cup worldwide. And together with his co-driver Marine Pelamourgues, with whom he had already contested the majority of the rounds of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup in the previous year, the 27-year-old from Bonneville demonstrated the clout of the "new" ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team right away with a commanding JERC title win in 2022.
A young German will follow in the Frenchman's (big) footsteps in the coming season: With an impressive title win in the 2022 ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, Timo Schulz from Saarland proved that he is ready for the next steps in his sporting career.