Report: Opel plans return to motorsport

By George Kennedy

With a financial crisis ravaging the European automotive industry, many automakers have tightened budgets, and motorsports programs have, in many cases, been among the first things to go. That's the case at Ford and Mini, but it's the opposite at Opel, which announced its return to motorsports in the form of spec series for two very fun-looking hatchbacks.

The first racer is the Opel Adam Cup, which will participate in the ADAC Rally Masters competition for the Opel Rally Cup Trophy. The series will closely match FIA R2 specifications, and will offer special coaching for younger drivers that place well in the "junior rally" system. There will also be cash prizes.

If hosing the dirt off your car after every race isn't your thing, there's the Astra OPC Cup. Featuring Opel Astra OPC, the highlight of the season will be a 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring. As with the Adam Cup, there will be cash prizes.

There's plenty of history here. Opel's rally exploits included a European Championship title in 1974, and again in 1979. This success was followed by campaigns in DTM in the 1990's, culminating in a constructor championship in 1998. Opel also found overall victory in the 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring in 2003. To read up more on Opel's and its new racecars, check out the press release below.

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