Close fights at season finale in Lower Bavaria

Friday, October 26, 2018
  • Short decision for vice championship in ADAC Opel Rally Cup 2018
  • Grégoire Munster celebrates its third victory of the season at the ADAC 3-Cities Rallye
  • A time penalty costs the Estonian Karl-Martin Volver the possible final triumph.



Rüsselsheim/Munich/Straubing. Grégoire Munster's third victory of the season marked the end of the season finale of the ADAC Opel Rally Cup 2018 as part of the ADAC 3-Cities Rally. After twelve demanding special stages (WP) around Straubing in Lower Bavaria, the 19-year-old Luxembourger was 24.0 seconds ahead of Elias Lundberg (20) from Sweden, who had already been crowned champion and who, in turn, saved the finish 1.8 seconds ahead of Karl-Martin Volver. The 19-year-old from Estonia marked five best times in the special stage including the "Powerstage" (SS10) and earned the maximum ten bonus points for the Cup classification. The possible third victory of the season, however, was prevented by a 30-second time penalty for the incorrect passing of a chicane on the spectator circuit "Am Hagen" (SS3) on Friday evening. Because Munster and Lundberg made no mistakes until the finish, the fight for the rally victory and the fight for the runner-up spot in the ADAC Opel Rally Cup between Munster and Volver were also decided.


"I'm really happy about the third victory in an overall very strong season for us," beamed Munster, who together with co-driver Louis Louka decided two special stages in his favour and collected four bonus points in second place in the Power Stage. The son of Belgian rally legend Bernard Munster thus extended his lead over his rival Volver to 14 points in the final table. The Balte and Co Marten Madissoo were satisfied with 3rd place, but also disappointed about the missed possible victory. Volver: "To be honest, I don't know what we should have done wrong on the circuit. I was very surprised when I heard about the time penalty the next morning. But anyway, we delivered a good performance and a great finish to a great season in the ADAC Opel Rally Cup."


Elias Lundberg and co-driver David Arhusiander were delighted with the seventh podium finish in the eighth round. "We were consistently fast this season and made our only serious mistake at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Therefore it was a really good season. Karl-Martin and Grégoire were very strong here at the finale, a big compliment," praised the champion. Frenchman Dylan Gagnière and co-driver Patrick Chiappe finished fourth, their best result of the season. Fifth in the final, Max Schumann (25, Riegelsberg) and Maresa Lade also cemented their position as the best German team in the final table. "You have to set yourself realistic goals. It had been ours to be ranked in the top 5 at the end of the season. That's what we achieved. That's why I'm completely satisfied," commented the Saarlander.


The Belgians Romain Delhez/Gerome Bollette, on the other hand, had a lot of bad luck as they had to park their ADAM Cup in 4th place in the penultimate special stage with a technical problem. "The engine just stopped and didn't start again. I don't know what was going on there," Delhez reported. The rally ended even more abruptly for the Americans Sean Johnston and Alex Kihurani, who had set the Cup best time on the narrow spectator circuit in SS3 and had occupied an impressive seventh place overall in the field of almost 120 participating rally vehicles with the only 140-hp ADAM Cup. In the first Saturday special stage (SS6) Johnston slightly hooked into the embankment and rolled his vehicle several times over the roof. Thanks to the stable safety cell of the ADAM Cup, the US boys remained unharmed. "Too bad, because we had been well on our way until then. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my first rally season to the full. The decision to enter the ADAC Opel Rally Cup was the best I could make," said Johnston.


Final standings ADAC Opel Rally Cup (after 8 runs):

1. Lundberg 282. 2. Munster 233. 3. Volver 219. 4. Delhez 168. 5. Schumann 130. 6. Johnston 98. 7. Knacker 94. 8. Field 87. 9. Griebel 83. 10. Wacker 78. 11. Kerkhove 73. 12. Popov 65.



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Reproduced by courtesy of Opel Motorsport.

Picture Copyright: Opel Motorsport

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