By Full Contact News and Views
Opel, who won the European Junior Rally Championship in 2015 with Emil Bergvist (and also the ERC3 category), have swooped to sign English rally sensation Chris to their team in order to lead their defence of the Junior title. Chris will be an Opel factory driver racing their Adam R2 car for a team with a rich rallying history – tracing back to when in 1982 Opel won the World Rally Championship with Walter Rohl and through to last season where they dominated the ERC3 and Junior classes.
Last season Chris made his debut in the European Rally Championship racing for Peugeot, taking his first victory at this level in the Rally Azores and winning the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy at both the Azores and Rally of Ireland. Although Chris would finish 5th overall in the Junior championship standings and 4th in the ERC3 category – a pleasing rookie season – various mechanical problems with his Peugeot 208 R2 prevented him from making a championship challenge against the dominant Opel Adam R2 cars.
Making the switch to the Opel factory team, 21 year old Chris hopes to build on his success in British Rallying since the age of 15 and the 2 years of experience gained rallying at various European events on snow, gravel and tarmac, including the prestigious WRC event in Wales – whilst remaining on target for his ultimate goal of becoming the first English World Rally Champion since Richard Burns in 2001 and youngest ever British champion (Colin McRae was 27 when he won the title in 1995). Chris’ new co-driver is German Katrin Becker.
Chris said “I am so excited about the season ahead. To have the opportunity to drive for the Opel Motorsport factory team – competing in their excellent Adam R2 car – gives me a real chance of competing for the Junior title, and I will be going flat out from the first rally of the season in Latvia. 2016 is a massive year for me and I am determined to be successful and make a significant mark on the European Rallying scene.”
Dan Chapman, senior partner of Full Contact, commented “Once the 2015 season ended and we became aware of Opel’s interest in signing Chris, the plans for 2016 became very clear. There were various options, but the challenging of leading Opel Motorsport’s team as they look to defend their Junior title was too good to turn down. We are thrilled that Opel not only recognise Chris’ talent and ability but have chosen to back it, and for Chris to have another works drive at his tender age is extremely impressive. All eyes turn to Latvia now for February 5th where we hope Chris and Opel, and his new co-driver Katrin Becker, can have a solid start to the season.”
All at Full Contact wish Chris and Opel the very best for their 2016 rallying season.
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Full Contact News and Views includes articles contributed by Associates and professional contacts within the Full Contact team and includes opinion on sports law, PR and media, football agency and more.
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