Wed 02 Aug 2023

Baumanis promises to leave nothing on the table in Euro RX1 title fight

Jānis Baumanis has vowed to push all-out for title glory in the remaining two rounds of the 2023 Euro RX1 campaign...

Jānis Baumanis has vowed to go all-out for glory in the remaining two rounds of the FIA European Rallycross Championship campaign, as he strives to reclaim his position at the top of the title table between now and season’s end.

Last year’s championship runner-up at Euro RX1 level, Baumanis’ bid for honours in 2023 got off to the perfect start with victory in the Nyirád curtain-raiser in Hungary back in April, despite the RX Team Latvia ace feeling distinctly under the weather.

A jump-start in round two at Montalegre was all that prevented a second consecutive triumph, with Baumanis ultimately having to settle for the bottom step of the podium in Portugal, but then a nightmare weekend in Norway saw him fail to reach the final for the first time since Rīga last summer, after picking up a penalty for contact in the semi-final – knocking the former Super1600 (now Euro RX3) champion off the summit of the standings.

Höljes in Sweden last time out proved to be another less-than-straightforward affair, but Baumanis is still just six points adrift of the championship lead with 46 left to fight for at Mettet in Belgium this weekend (5-6 August) and Germany’s Estering a fortnight later (19-20 August) – and he has promised to fight for every single one of them.

“The first two rounds went really well, with the win in Hungary and our pace in Portugal,” reflected the 31-year-old Mārupe native. “We were quick in Hell, too, but that weekend obviously ended too soon for me, which was hugely frustrating and hurt a lot.

“Höljes was one of the toughest events of the past couple of years. The conditions were really tricky and we had some small technical issues that made the car difficult to drive. My team and all the mechanics did a great job to get on top of everything by the time the semi-finals came around, but by then we’d already slipped down the order, which left us further back on the grid for the semi-final and final – and in such a big and competitive field, it’s difficult to recover.

“Norway and Sweden are now behind us, though, and the full focus is on Belgium and Germany. I haven’t been to Mettet since 2018. It’s an enjoyable and challenging circuit to drive and they’ve made a few changes since we were last there, so it will be interesting to see which car is most well-suited to the track.

“Then the Estering is one of the best places we go to all season. It’s just pure fun, properly full-throttle in places and you really need to have some balls through some of the corners. We tested there pre-season and I had a good feeling, so I’m looking forward to going back.

“There’s not really a clear favourite amongst the four of us in the title battle, and it’s great to have so many different winners and podium-finishers – that’s one of the things that makes this championship so exciting. It’s a very high level of competition and I’m really happy to be racing in Euro RX1 at the moment.

“My approach for the next two rounds is very simple – I’m aiming to win them both. You score the most points by winning, so that’s my goal...”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM