*Factory-backed squad bids to defend title won by Emil Bergkvist in 2015 *Marijan Griebel, Julius Tannert and Chris Ingram to drive Opel Adam R2s
Opel will return to the FIA ERC Junior Championship in 2016 with young German drivers Marijan Griebel and Julius Tannert and Britain’s Chris Ingram.
ERC Junior takes place over six rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship and is open to drivers born on or after 1 January 1989 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres.
Emil Bergkvist won the ERC Junior crown in 2015 behind the wheel of a factory-backed Opel Adam R2, while his team-mate Griebel finished third in the category.
For 2016, Griebel will be joined under the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team banner by Tannert, whose drive is his prize for winning the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup last year. He also did rounds of ERC Junior in an Adam R2, finishing third in class on the Kenotek Ypres Rally just behind his new team-mate Griebel.
Ingram joins Opel as a third works driver in ERC Junior after strong performances over the past two seasons when he had support from Peugeot UK, placing fifth in the series in 2015 and winning the class on SATA Rallye Açores.
Griebel will welcome Belgian Lara Vanneste as his co-driver from SATA Rallye Açores in June, with Pirmin Winklhofer to partner him until then. Tannert continues with his regular navigator Jennifer Thielen from Luxembourg, while Ingram links up with Germany’s Katrin Becker.
Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott said: “No one knows better than us how tremendously tough the competition in the ERC Junior Championship is. Of course, being the defending champion always brings a special pressure to succeed, but we have proved that we can deal with pressure. I am sure that with the Adam R2 and our driver pairings, Opel Motorsport will be counted on again in 2016.”
Jean-Baptise Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We're delighted to welcome Opel Motorsport back to ERC Junior for a third season. They continue to set impressive standards and provide opportunities for young drivers to showcase their talents.”
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