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by Tim Beissmann

Opel will return to motorsport in 2013 with a two-pronged attack spearheaded by the rally-bound Adam city car and the track-focused Astra OPC.

Initially targeting European enthusiasts, Opel has prepared a rally version of the Opel Adam specified to FIA R2 standards, to compete in the inaugural ADAC Opel Rally Cup from 2013, which falls under the broader ADAC Rally Masters series.

Opel and ADAC see the rally project as a grassroots development program aimed at helping talented drivers graduate to an international level.

Locked in for at least four years, the 2013 and 2014 series will feature Opel Adam-based rally cars, with the next-generation Opel Corsa to take over from 2015.

In support of the Adam’s rally exploits, the German manufacturer has engineered the Opel Astra OPC to meet VLN Endurance Championship standards for circuit racing.

The race-tuned Astra’s specifications cover the most popular entry-level motorsport series in Europe, opening it up to a wide enthusiast base.

The cars will compete in the new Astra OPC Cup, the highlight of which will be a 24-hour race around the Nurburgring.

Opel says customers will benefit from competitively priced spare parts as well as organisational and technical support on and off the race track.

Opel deputy CEO Dr Thomas Sedran said the brand’s return to motorsport was a nod to the heritage started by legendary German driver Walter Rohrl in the mid 1970s.

“These new motorsports activities play an important role in the strategic re-alignment of the company; they are a fundamental element of our brand profile,” Sedran said.

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