Who said that a company has to be dull when it’s struggling financially? General Motors’ European division Opel aims to get people excited as it continues to build its brand by building two new factory-backed racing cars that are affordable for entry-level racers. Opel has presented a rally car and endurance racer that will be part of a campaign from 2013 to 2016.
The stylish Adam subcompact is the basis of the Opel Adam rally car. It will receive numerous modifications to comply with FIA R2 racing standards. The cars will join a special subcategory of Europe’s ADAC Rally Masters series, named the ADAC Opel Rally Cup. Winners will receive cash prizes. There will also be a special points system to ensure that novice drivers younger than 27 years old will get additional coaching and instruction.
The Opel Adam rally cars are set to make their debut in the 2013 race season and they will run until at least 2016. At this point, Opel will then think about supporting winning drivers in the international rally series.
Opel had also recently introduced the Astra OPC Cup, which is developed to be suitable for Germany’s VLN endurance racing series. Opel wants entry-level racers to be able to afford these vehicles. They will get plenty of factory support and affordable spare parts.
Opel will put up the cash for a set of Astra OPC Cup races for the cars. Opel is also planning to enter these hatchbacks for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring race. The cars will become available starting with the 2013 racing season.
It is somewhat unusual for an automaker to start a costly racing project now, particularly since it expects to report losses of between $1.5 and $1.8 billion in 2012. However, Opel thinks that the rally and circuit cars are crucial to build its brand further. In a statement, Opel deputy CEO Dr Thomas Sedran said that these new motorsports activities have a major role in its re-alignment; these are also a primary component of its brand profile.