The ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team will again compete in the Junior European Rally Championship in 2024.

Stohl Racing and WMS enter two Opel Corsa Rally4 for Calle Carlberg and Timo Schulz. The two ex-champions of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup aim to fight for the title.

With two strong driver crews and maximum motivation, the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team will start into the Junior European Rally Championship 2024 in about four weeks. The experienced team around rally legend Manfred Stohl, that in cooperation with Waldherr Motorsport (WMS) is once again responsible for the operation, will run two Opel Corsa Rally4. At the wheel of the 212 hp customer sports cars from Rüsselsheim are the champions of the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup 2023 and 2022, Sweden’s Calle Carlberg and Germany’s Timo Schulz.

Carlberg and Schulz are following in big footsteps. In seven seasons in the Junior European Championship, the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team has won no fewer than five drivers’ titles with Emil Bergkvist (Sweden, 2015), Marijan Griebel (Germany, 2016), Chris Ingram (Great Britain, 2017), Martins Sesks (Latvia, 2018) and Laurent Pellier (France, 2022).

For 23-year-old Calle Carlberg, joining the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team is an exciting step onto the international motorsport stage. He will be accompanied by 30-year-old Norwegian Jørgen Eriksen, an experienced co-driver who has also competed in several JERC rallies. “Being able to call myself a works driver and representative of a car manufacturer like Opel is a childhood dream come true and makes me extremely proud,” says Carlberg. “The last two years in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup were perfect preparation and also a gauge of where I stand as a driver. I can hardly wait to get into the Corsa Rally4 and start the JERC adventure with the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team. Given my gravel experience from the past and the valuable development on asphalt during the last two years, I hope to be able to compete for the JERC title in 2024. Even though I am aware of the extremely high standard in the Junior European Championship, there can only be one goal for me.”

Meanwhile, Timo Schulz is entering his second JERC season in the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team. As in the previous year, the 24-year-old from Siersburg near Saarlouis will be relying on the experienced co-driver Michael Wenzel. The 47-year-old from Mehlingen contested his first rally back in 1996 and since then has guided German top drivers such as Christian Riedemann, Niki Schelle, Uwe Nittel and Sven Haaf. Together with Markus Fahrner, Wenzel won the first championship title in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup in 2013. Last year, Schulz and Wenzel celebrated an outstanding class victory at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín and finished fourth overall in the JERC.

“Michi and I got on very well both in and out of the cockpit and quickly built up trust in each other,” says Schulz. “We had some good performances in the JERC last year, especially at the asphalt events, but we also had to pay tribute to my inexperience on gravel here and there. In our second season together, we want to build on the generally very pleasing debut year and regularly fight for podium places. I feel that we have the potential to do so, especially as we have the best possible conditions with the Corsa Rally4 and the great team around Manfred Stohl and Luca Waldherr.”

Five new rallies in the 2024 JERC calendar

The 2024 Junior ERC calendar, which once again consists of six rallies, also promises plenty of excitement. Only one event, the Royal Rally of Scandinavia around Karlstad in Sweden, was already contested by the European junior elite last year. Rally Hungary was already on the calendar in 2023, but has been moved from Nyíregyháza to Veszprém, not far from Lake Balaton, and will be held on asphalt rather than gravel. The Rally Islas Canarias on Gran Canaria is one of the traditional events in the European Rally Championship, but was not part of the JERC last year. ERC rallies have also been held in Estonia in the past, but the gravel spectacle around Tartu is also unfamiliar terrain for the juniors. The Rali Ceredigion, a tarmac rally in the Aberystwyth region on the north-west coast of Wales, is completely new to the European Rally Championship. And the season finale, the Rally Silesia around the Polish city of Katowice near the Czech border, also appears on the JERC calendar for the first time.

“The ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team is once again facing an exciting and challenging season,” says Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott. “Although Timo has already gained a year of experience in the JERC, he only knows one of the six rallies on the calendar. Everything is new for Calle. Nevertheless, I look forward to the season with confidence. We have two highly talented driver crews, an experienced, extremely motivated team and a fast, reliable rally car. And there is another aspect that should not be underestimated: Timo and Calle already got on very well as competitors in the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup in 2022. So we will have a good atmosphere and open communication and cooperation in the team, which is extremely valuable. The fact that we have two ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup champions on the grid this season is proof of the quality of our junior platform. I am confident that both of them will also have a say in the top positions in the high-class JERC field.”

Schedule Junior European Rally Championship 2024

12.-14.04.                       Rally Hungary, Veszprém/Hungary (asphalt)

02.-04.05.                       Rally Islas Canarias, Las Palmas/Spain (asphalt)

13.-15.06.                       Royal Rally of Scandinavia, Karlstad/Sweden (gravel)

05.-07.07.                       Rally Estonia, Tartu/Estonia (gravel)

30.08.-01.09.                  Rali Ceredigion, Aberystwyth/Wales (asphalt)

11.-13.10.                       Rally Silesia, Katowice/Poland (asphalt)


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