First podium place for the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team

Saturday, March 24, 2018



  • Joy and sorrow at the first round of the 2018 European Junior Rally Championship
  • The Latvian Mārtiņš Sesks takes third place on the Azores at the first start in the ADAM R2
  • Early end for Tom Kristensson, bad luck prevents better result for Sesks



Rüsselsheim/Munich/Ponta Delgada. The ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team returns from the first round of the European Junior Rally Championship (FIA ERC Junior U27) with a laughing and crying eye. With a laughing eye, because the two Opel ADAM R2 were also fully competitive at the ballast spectacle on the Azores. With a crying eye, because accident bad luck and the defect witch of the Opel team refused an even better result.


The responsible persons of the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team were delighted from the very beginning by the refreshing commitment of newcomer Mārtiņš Sesks. The 18-year-old Latvian fought a thrilling duel with experienced Azorean Diogo Gago from Portugal from the first special stage and was at the top of the junior classification until the eighth stage when tyre damage slowed down Sesks and his co-driver Renārs Francis. The second place after the first stage on Friday evening was nevertheless a very pleasing result. Especially as it also meant the first six bonus points for the overall ranking of the FIA ERC Junior U27.


In the second stage on Saturday the fast juniors continued their fireworks of driving and fought their way through the treacherous gravel stages for which the archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic is so famous. How close the field of the continent's best rally talents is illustrated by the result of SS13, when the top four were separated by just 2.8 seconds after more than 17 SS kilometres!


In the course of the last special stages, however, experienced rider Diogo Gago took the lead. "He knows every stone here on the island, this is my first time here. So we decided not to do anything stupid and try to finish second," Sesks explained. The implementation of this plan did not go according to plan, especially as transmission problems occurred on the ADAM R2 over the last few kilometers: In the end, the young man from Liepāja slipped back to third place behind the Spaniard Llarena.


Nevertheless Mārtiņš was highly satisfied with his first podium place in the FIA ERC Junior U27: "Although I could barely test 100 kilometres in the ADAM R2 before the rally, I quickly got used to this great rally car. We were able to keep up with the pace at the top right from the start. The fact that problems can also occur in a rally is part of the game. But it was great to be directly on the podium at our first start with the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team and to take home important points for the championship".


Tom Kristensson and co-driver Henrik Appelskog were denied a similar yield. Just after crossing the finish line of SS4 with the best time, the Swedes slid in a tight left turn against a stone on the outside, whereupon their ADAM R2 turned over. "That felt pretty weird to me," commented Kristensson. "The car didn't turn in the way I expected. I had no way out of the way of the stone. And then there was nothing more that could be done. My first rollover after about 200 rallies..." Unfortunately, the damage to the vehicle proved to be too severe to allow repair on site. Thus the 26-year-old from Hörby has to book the Azores Airlines Rally as a string result. Only four of the six individual races of the FIA ERC Junior U27 are included in the year-end ranking.


The ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team also leads the second test of strength to an Atlantic island: The next round of the FIA ERC Junior U27 will take place from 3 to 5 May as part of the Rally Islas Canarias. On Gran Canaria it's all about fast juniors on asphalt.


Stand FIA ERC Junior U27 after 1 of 6 runs:

1 Gago 39. 2. Llarena 28. 3. Sesk 26. 4. Broz 19. 5. Munnings 14. 6. Vita 12. 7. Wagner 5.





press contact


ADAC registered association.

Oliver Runschke, Phone: +49 (0) 89 7676 6965, E-Mail:

Kay-Oliver Langendorff, Phone: +49 (0) 89 7676 6936, E-Mail:


Opel Motorsport

Marcus Lacroix, Phone: +49 (0) 172 7404562, E-Mail:


reproduced with kind permission of Opel Motorsport

Picture Copyright: Opel Motorsport

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