Opel has announced it’s three-car line-up for the FIA ERC Junior U27 Championship as the German manufacturer bids for a hat-trick of Junior titles.
Jari Huttunen, Chris Ingram and Tamara Molinaro will contest the six-round young category in works Opel Adam R2s as Opel aims for a third consecutive Junior title following in the wheel tracks of Emil Bergkvist (2015) and Marijan Griebel (2016).
Runner-up in last year’s series, 22 year old Englishman Ingram is one of the favourites to go one better this year and claim the title.
Finnish star Huttunen, protégé of double world champion Marcus Grönholm, seat comes as his prize for winning the Germany-based ADAC Opel Rallye Cup in 2016.
For Red Bull backed Italian Molinaro, the series represents the next step up in her career.
After some promising drives in Austrian and German rally championships, a full championship in the ERC Junior series offers plenty of opportunity to build on her competition experience.
This year the FIA has announced that the ERC Junior Championship will be re-constructed to form a pyramid for young drivers to progress.
The championship is split into three categories with the ERC Junior Experience set up for drivers who are starting out their international rally careers and is open for drivers under 26 years of age and takes in three rounds of the series.
The next step-up is the U27 Junior Championship for R2 competitors which takes place over six rounds.
The winner of this championship will receive a fund of 100,000 Euros to use for an assault on the ERC Junior U28 Championship for R5 cars in 2018.
The ERC Junior U27 Championship at the ERC season opener on the gravel-based Azores Airlines Rallye on 30 March-1 April.