Driver

YEAR IN REVIEW: BAUMANIS' FORM A BOOST FOR STARD

Monday 23rd of December 2019

In the second instalment of our team-by-team reviews, we look at the Austrian outfit - Team STARD. 

Team: Team STARD

Car: Ford Fiesta

Drivers: Janis Baumanis (LVA) #6, Pal Try (NOR) #5, Jani Paasonen (FIN) #3, Jere Kalliokoski (FIN) #22

Teams’ Championship Points: 103

Teams’ Championship Position: 5th

Team STARD ran a two-car effort in 2019, with Latvian star Janis Baumanis continuing as the team’s lead driver, and being joined by three different drivers in the second car. The team also introduced a new Ford Fiesta Mk8, but as the second car wasn’t ready until the fourth round at Silverstone and the Austrian team ran an older Fiesta early on, it was unable to score teams’ points until both cars were the same. The highlight of the year was a pair of podiums for Baumanis, in Norway and Canada.

Here’s how Baumanis and STARD’s rotating second driver fared head-to-head:

 

Quickest Qualifying Times:

 

JB 0 – 0 PT / JP / JK

The Team STARD drivers didn’t set a quickest qualifying time in 2019, but the new Ford Fiesta MK8 was a big step forward for the team and lead driver Baumanis was regularly fighting for the top places and set a best time of second overall for the team.

 Semi-final starts:

 

JB 10 – 1 PT / JP / JK

Baumanis was one of only two drivers in World RX 2019 to make the semi-finals at every single round, with a best Intermediate Classification result of P4 at round one in Abu Dhabi. Finnish youngster Jere Kalliokoski made the semi-finals on his debut with the team at Holjes RX and the other Finn in the second car, Jani Paasonen, just missed out on the semi-finals in Canada.

 Final starts:

 

JB 5 – 0 PT / JP / JK

Latvian driver Baumanis was a regular in the finals in the first three rounds of the year, and made four of the first five finals. But while he took two podiums in the five finals he started, he struggled with poor fortune in the semi-finals in the second half of the season. Kalliokoski challenged for a final start at Holjes but was slowed by a puncture.

 

Podiums:

 

JB 2 – 0 PT / JP / JK

STARD and Janis Baumanis’ first podium was secured at Hell RX, after one of the most dramatic races in World RX history when heavy rain effected the semi-finals and final. But, Baumanis’ third place was achieved after a post-race penalty for Anton Marklund, and even though it was the Latvian’s first podium, he celebrated even harder when he finished second on track at the Canadian round in Trois-Rivieres just two events later.

 Championship:

 

JB (6th) 137 points – PT (27th) 4 points / JP (22nd) 9 points / JK (21st) 10 points

P6 in the points for Baumanis was his best-ever overall finish, up three places from 2018 and only behind the Team Hansen MJP and GRX Taneco drivers, and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud. Baumanis was in the fight for P5 overall but lost out to Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov in the last races of the season. Finns Kalliokoski and Paasonen finished just a point apart in 21st and 22nd.

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