Vauxhall Motorsport has finalised its Junior Team for this year’s British Rally Championship, and is looking forward to a successful season with the Vauxhall ADAM R2, which is making its competition debut on British soil.
After an intensive selection process from an initial shortlist of eight drivers, Mattias Adielsson from Sweden (Swedish R2 Rally Champion, 2014), Robert Duggan from Ireland (Billy Coleman Award winner, 2015), and Arron Windus from Australia (Victorian Rally Championship event winner, 2015) were chosen to drive for the team.
Vauxhall Motorsport is campaigning three ADAM R2s built by Vauxhall/Opel, all of which are fitted with a naturally aspirated, 16-valve version of the company’s 1.6-litre production engine. To liberate a maximum of 185PS, the unit is rebuilt using a bespoke crankshaft, con-rods, pistons and cylinder head. Power is still delivered to the front axle, but via a Sadev sequential gearbox. Fully FIA homologated, the ADAM has Reiger race suspension with three-way adjustable damper units, and is fitted with a full cage with triangulated sections that effectively create a spaceframe within the cockpit.
The 18-strong team, which is operated by Major Motorsport, will work closely with Vauxhall Motors through the season to publicise and promote the team’s entry in the BRC. ‘We’re really looking forward to our first season with the ADAM R2 in the British Rally Championship,’ said Simon Mauger, Vauxhall Motorsport’s Team Principal and current National Asphalt Rally Champion. ‘We’ve just been through an incredibly difficult driver selection process, due to the high standards of those on our shortlist, but our final three show immense promise.’
After undertaking some shakedown laps at Curborough sprint track in Staffordshire last week, the finalists – all of whom have to be under 26 years old to qualify for the Junior category – were put through an exhaustive interview process to assess their suitability as team members.
With the team complete, the cars are now being prepared for the BRC season opener, The Mid Wales Stages, on March 5/6, when all Junior-category drivers will be competing for the prize of a subsidised entry in the Drive DMACK Trophy in 2017.
‘The ADAM R2 is an exceptionally competitive rally car,’ said Mauger. ‘With skilled and ambitious drivers and Vauxhall Motors’ support and encouragement we’re confident that 2016 will be a great debut year for the fledgling Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Rally Team.’