|PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX Media.|
Having driven for team STARD (Ford Fiesta) since 2016, the Latvian driver will switch to an Audi S1 Supercar in 2020. Last year, Baumanis claimed his best results in the World RX championship with a third-place finish in Norway followed by a second-place finish Canada.
"I’m excited for a new season with a whole new team. JC Raceteknik and Robin showed last year that they had a good pace in Euro RX, so this year I think we will be even stronger with two good cars in World RX," said Baumanis "I can’t wait to get into the latest spec EKS Audi with the latest shock absorbers from KYB. Robin definitely knows the car better than me, but hopefully I can be near his pace as soon as possible."
"My previous seasons in World RX have been pretty tough. After four years of driving a Ford I’m very excited to change to Audi, it will be a big step that will be quite challenging for me."
Jumping into a new car is always a challenge, but the Latvian is ready to face it head-on.
"During the first races there will of course be a bit more focus on the learning process in the new car, but then the goal will be to start from the front of the semi-finals," he said. "Of course, the dream is to win. I know it will be difficult, but with fast cars and a good team, there is always the opportunity to make it happen."
Having already announced that reigning European Rallycross Champion Robin Larsson would race under the JC Raceteknik banner as a permanent individual entry. The World RX teams have agreed to allow Joel Christoffersson's team JC Raceteknik to expand into a permanent two-car team for the 2020 season.
"This will be brilliant for the whole team, and benefit our Euro RX drivers too. It’s thanks to the approval of all of the other teams in World RX we were allowed to enter both Janis as driver and KYB Team JC as permanent entries, and we are grateful for that," said Christoffersson.
"Being able to start with two drivers in the World Championship feels fantastic, this has long been a dream for me. Thanks to KYB we will start as KYB Team JC and we will continue our technical collaboration with EKS. This investment is a good opportunity for all parties that allows us to develop together."
"I think Robin and Janis will be a strong duo. With Robin, we had a very successful season last year and he comes with good experience in the Audi," he adds. "Janis is new to us, but he is a fast driver with previous experience of World RX. I think both will benefit from each other and together push forward to improve. We aim to fight for a podium in both the Teams’ and Drivers’ championships.”
Baumanis and Larsson will drive the latest-specification Audi S1 Supercars built and prepared by Mattias Ekstrom's EKS squad.
Larsson sees JC Raceteknik's two-car entry as a positive. "It’s great for JC Raceteknik to enter World RX with a two-car team," he said. "We will get some more support from EKS and with two Audis on the track being able to compare data, it’s positive for everyone."
"Not only will we be racing for ourselves, but there’s the teams’ championship to fight for too. During the first races, we will be able to see how we stand up against the other teams. It would be nice to have good results right away and be able to participate in the championship, I’m sure there are going to be many wonderful fights."
"Of course, there will be tough competition with many fast drivers, but that is why we do rallycross," Larsson adds. "During the first races, we will be able to see how we stand up against the other teams. It would be nice to have good results right away and be able to participate in the championship, I’m sure there are going to be many wonderful fights."
Written By - Junaid Samodien