Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

China’s Ma Qinghua will become the first ever Chinese driver to compete in the FIA World Rallycross Championship when he makes his debut with Team STARD this weekend at the Silverstone Speedmachine festival. 

China’s most successful driver will compete in as many World RX races as his schedule allows this season, as he also drivers for the NIO Formula E Team. “I am always trying to join only the highest level racing teams and projects in order to constantly evolve as a racing driver. After being a works driver in the Citroen WTCC squad, it feels great to be back again in a World Championship category with Manfred Stohl’s STARD Team,” said Ma.

“For me, Speedmachine will just be the first in hopefully as many races as possible in 2018, where I also have to align with my Formula E activity, to get as much experience as possible for a potential full season participation with STARD from 2019 onwards. By any means, I am very excited to finally join the races.”

Ma tested with the team in the winter months, including joining the first official World RX test at Loheac in France. He will race a Ford Fiesta Supercar as team mate to STARD’s permanent individual entrant in World RX, Janis Baumanis, the Latvian currently eighth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

“Initially, I was a bit skeptical when I heard that STARD runs such a big undertaking in World RX with absolutely no manufacturer backing at all, but already the first test session fully convinced me when I saw how the team more than just compensates for the lower budget compared to the works supported teams. STARD has an impressively dedicated and experienced team resulting in a 100% professional undertaking,” he continued. “Despite a lot of unknowns for me before the first race in a very specific racing category, it feels good to be in a fully professional team with a very fast car. The most challenging situations in World RX are the ones that you cannot practically test and train for; the starts and the close fights on mixed surfaces while just having a few laps available. I’m very curious to see how quick I will be able to adapt to these new requirements and highly motivated to get behind the wheel in Silverstone.”

A partnership with TRS Cultural Communications Company means that China’s leading online broadcaster Sohu is showing almost every round of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Champion live and free-to-air via and Sohu Sports Live Platform.

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