Jānis Baumanis – one of last season’s leading contenders in the FIA European Rallycross Championship – will rejoin the grid in 2022 with #YellowSquad, and he is aiming to celebrate his ‘homecoming’ with title success.
Baumanis has been a familiar face in the paddock since 2014, when he finished third at Super1600 (now Euro RX3) level. He improved upon that to clinch the class crown 12 months later, while simultaneously making his Supercar (now Euro RX1) bow in Norway in a Peugeot 208 under the Hansen Talent Development banner – impressively reaching the rostrum at the first time of asking in the team’s Peugeot 208.
Since then, the Latvian has continued to shine on the international stage, claiming a brace of podium finishes in World Championship competition in 2019 and racing to a hugely popular home victory in Euro RX1 in Rīga last year, en route to third in the final standings.
With #YellowSquad coming under wider Hansen Motorsport umbrella, 2022 marks something of a return to his roots for Baumanis, as the family-run Swedish outfit – which secured 20 Euro RX titles between 1989 and 2016 with Kenneth Hansen, Susann Hansen, Timur Timerzyanov and Kevin Hansen – expands its operations.
“I’m very, very happy to drive with #YellowSquad this year,” the 29-year-old enthused. “I started my Supercar career with the Hansen team back in 2015, and I’m very happy that I am back in the most famous team in the rallycross world to compete in the full Euro RX season.
“Last year, it was a very nice championship with very good drivers, and I believe it will be even more interesting with even more good names and cars this year. I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun and fighting for the top places.”
Baumanis will be back behind the wheel of a Peugeot 208 for his assault on title glory – which will begin at Nyirád in Hungary in just under a month’s time (21-22 May). Both #YellowSquad Team Principal Kevin Hansen and Team Manager Eric Färén – a successful former racer himself – have high hopes for the forthcoming campaign.
“It’s fantastic to expand #YellowSquad operations into the next step of our journey,” acknowledged Hansen, two times a World RX event-winner. “This has always been the goal; the vision for the brand has always been to have multiple positions on the ladder in rallycross, and now we are there with #YellowSquad in Euro RX. Within the Hansen organisation, we now have every step covered from CrossCar all the way to the top of the sport.
“It’s super cool to have Jānis back in the team after he drove for Hansen Talent Development a few years ago. He’s come here to fight for European gold, he’s been very much in the battle in recent years and now with this car and team, we have a really good chance to achieve some really good results.”
“It’s really exciting for the whole #YellowSquad team to grow like this, and to take the step up to Euro RX1, especially given the history that #YellowSquad’s parent team Hansen Motorsport has in the European Championship,” added Färén.
“Signing a deal with an event-winner and proven front-runner like Jānis is a great achievement for us. I have known Jānis for many years and I’m sure he will be incredibly strong in the 208 WRX. We have a great package and I can’t wait to get the season started.”
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