WORLD RX 2018: TEAM STARD, BAUMANIS TARGET NEXT STEP
Team: Team STARD
Car: Ford Fiesta
Drivers: Janis Baumanis
2017 Teams’ Championship: 6th
Following a competitive maiden World RX campaign in 2017, Team STARD keeps the Austrian flag flying this season with Janis Baumanis once more leading its charge.
Helmed by WRC driver Manfred Stohl, Team STARD marked its debut by reaching the final on three events last season with Baumanis and Timur Timerzyanov behind the wheel.
Though Baumanis goes it alone this year in the G-Drive-backed Fiesta, the Latvian heads into the year with lofty expectations.
Indeed, with points from 23 of the 24 World RX races he has thus far competed in, Baumanis has proven his dependability behind the wheel over the last two years. However, the 25-year old says his targets are now regular finals.
“We could be the same speed as Volkswagen was last year but we don’t know how much they have improved. I think the last half of last season was really good and I hope to do my best this season. I would like to be in several finals and the semi-final each time.”
While Team STARD is officially listed with only a single entry for the full season, plans are afoot to run another car in selected rounds for Ma Qinghua, beginning with the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona curtain raiser.
Having already written motorsport history as the first Chinese driver to win an FIA world championship event after tasting success in the World Touring Car Championship, ex-F1 test driver Ma will in turn become the first Chinese person to start a World RX event when he joins forces with Baumanis in a second Fiesta.
The 30-year old tested with the team in Loheac last month and is tipped to participate in several events this year on a round-by-round basis.
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