The Opel Juniors demonstrate their potential in Rome

Monday, July 22, 2019

Fifth place and valuable points for the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team in Rome. A driving mistake made by Munster on the first day destroyed the hopes of the podium. Lundberg has to end the Rally di Roma Capitale with health problems.The Opel Juniors demonstrate their potential in Rome


Rüsselsheim/Munich/Rome. With fifth place at the Rally di Roma Capitale the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team scored valuable points for the overall standings at the penultimate round of the European Junior Rally Championship (FIA ERC3 Junior Championship). Grégoire Munster (20, Belgium) and co-driver Louis Louka in the Opel ADAM R2 demonstrated their great potential on asphalt on the treacherous asphalt tracks outside the gates of the Italian capital, but missed the possible podium position due to a driving mistake on the first day. Driving in second place in the ERC3 Junior classification, Munster touched the inner kerbstone in the fifth special stage while passing a roundabout, whereupon the ADAM R2 climbed sideways and hit hard. The steering and drive shaft were affected, so it was not possible to continue driving.


On Sunday Munster/Louka in the repaired ADAM R2 took the high pace of the top, set the best time in two special stages and took second place in the second stage classification. However, the 14 minutes penalty (seven for each not completed special stage) from the previous day proved to be too big a mortgage to reach more than 5th place in the final classification. At the finish, they were 13:16.1 minutes behind winner Ken Torn from Estonia. "The misfortune in SS5 was my fault," Munster was annoyed. "I apologize to Louis and the team. The mistake was all the more annoying as a podium position would have been possible here again. Our pace was good right from the start, and not least on day two we were able to prove that we had what it takes to be right at the front."


This would undoubtedly also have applied to the Swedes Elias Lundberg and David Arhusiander in the second factory ADAM R2. But in this case it was a health problem of the driver that put an early end to the podium ambitions. Already after the qualifying on Friday the 21-year-old Lundberg had shown problems with his left arm. These worsened during the first three special stages on Saturday. "It's not even the pain that hinders me so much while driving, but I can't grip it properly with my left hand. I practically have to do everything with my right hand, and I also need it to shift gears. So fast driving on these demanding tracks and at this high level is not possible," said the champion of the ADAC Opel Rally Cup 2018.


An inspection by a physiotherapist indicated a pinched nerve in the left arm, whereupon the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team officials took their driver out of the competition after SS3. Also a restart on Sunday proved not to be meaningful. "Too bad, Elias had set himself a lot of goals, and he could have been expected to do a lot here. But to drive with this handicap would not only have been hopeless from a sporting point of view, but also dangerous. And our health always comes first," emphasised Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott. "But we saw that both cars were competitive. Podium places were absolutely possible. And that's what we've set ourselves for the finale in four weeks' time in the Czech Republic."


The last round of the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship 2019 will take place again on asphalt from 16th to 18th August as part of the traditional Barum Czech Rally Zlín.



Stand FIA ERC3 Junior after 5 of 6 runs (including 1 strike result):

1. Torn 115. 2. Llarena 110. 3. Furuseth 91. 4. Antunes 71. 5. Francheschi 57. 6. Cais 56. 7. Munster 40. 8. Rokland 33. 9. Lundberg 28. 10. Talas 28. 11. Westlund 24. 12. Schwedt 22.





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Picture Copyright: Opel Motorsport


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