Opel open to racing programme if it "survives"

Opel could return to running a global motorsport programme in the future, but not before 2020 and only once the German firm has returned to profit.

Opel open to racing programme if it "survives"
Alex Wurz, Opel Calibra
Eric Helary, Opel Astra DTM
Ari Vatanen, Terry Harryman, Opel Ascona 400
Walter Rohrl, Christian Geistdörfer, Opel Ascona 400
Aurélien Comte, DG Sport Compétition, Opel Astra TCR
Aurélien Comte, DG Sport Compétition, Opel Astra TCR

Opel and Vauxhall were taken over by the PSA Group last year, with the target of turning around a 2017 loss of £200m.

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said making sure Opel "survives" was the priority, but that once that had been achieved a motorsport programme could be considered.

“Opel, as much as any brand of the PSA Group, will have the opportunity to have its motorsport programme as soon as we turn around the company," said Tavares, who sanctioned PSA's £1.9billion purchase of Opel last year. "This is very clear.

"Currently the motorsport for Opel is very thin. There is the Adam R2, but this is a limited one-make championship [the Opel Adam Rallye Cup] and it doesn’t cost much to the company.

"The priority for Opel is to survive. That’s the key point. I don’t want them to lose focus.

“I consider my DNA is to tell you the truth and not what you would like to hear.

"As soon as Opel is turned around and our commitment is 2020, we can talk about it again and I will be eager to have German engineers working in motorsport as much as I have French, Spanish and English engineers – everything possible as long as [the] revival is not at stake.”

Opel has not run a significant World Rally Championship programme since the Kadett GSI, used by Sepp Haider to win the 1988 Rally New Zealand and Louise Aitken-Walker to take the 1990 FIA Ladies’ Cup.

Its last works motorsport programme before the Adam R2, which is used in the Opel Adam Rallye Cup in Germany and European Rally Championship, was its DTM effort that came to an end in 2005.

Private German team Holzer revealed an Opel Adam R5 last year, but the car does not have official backing from Opel.

The Opel Astra has been built as a TCR touring car model, and was developed in cooperation with Opel's engineering partner Kissling Motorsport.

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