Opel had a very successful rally era. It even includes a big milestone when Walter Rohrl won the World Championship in an Ascona 400, back in 1982.
After that, in the late 1980’s, Opel turned its focus back to circuit racing. From 1989 to 1991, the Omega 3000 24v and Kadett GSi 16v became favourites to crowds all over the world. But, the biggest success was with Calibra V6 4×4 racer and in 1994 Manuel Reuter had his first win in it, at Donington Park.
Opel then had a not so successful 1995 season, when finally their driver Klaus Ludwig won two races in the DMT finals, at Hockenheim.
After that, it is as if the fans and the racing world knew what was going to come. Their high tech Calibra became a standard in the successor series of the DTM’s, the International Touring Championship (ITC), which was at that time unofficial.
Opel secured its place at the top with 9 victories and 17 podium finishes. This was their second overwhelmingly successful season in a row. Their driver was Manuel Reuter.
In the 1997 Opel started competing in the super touring car championship (STW), in Germany, and won the manufacturer’s title in 1998 with the 2.0-liter Vectra.
3 years later, in the year 2000, Opel won eight races with its Astra V8 Coupe. The DTM had revolutionary new regulations and offered new opportunities.
The Astra was a rear-wheel runner, and had around 450 hp. IT especially proved to be good in the long distance events.
In the legendary 24 hour race on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, in 2003, Opel had a great victory with that same Astra. IT was driven by Manuel Reuter, Marcel Tiemann, Timo Scheider, and Volker Strycek.
That race was popularly called ‘Green Hell and it was precisely there that all OPC models tested their grit. It is here where Opel had four championships in the years to come and secured its title as one of the greatest carmaker in history, when it comes to non-professional racing.
Opel returned to motorsport in 2013 and introduced a brand cup in the VLN. IT was the Astra OPC Cup. It became essential for the VLN package, besides the activities in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup and ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team.
IT is here where Opel has come full circle with their Opel Astra, a 2.0 litre turbo engine that produces around 330 hp.
In the thriving TCR racing series, Opel now has a very tough competition from their direct market rivals. But, their motor sport-focused touring model, which is based on the latest Astra K, can tackle long distances very well and can again be used in the 24-hour Nurburgring classic race.