KYB Team JC might be a new team on the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship grid, but with a proven car and three-star drivers, it might just be the team to be reckoned with in 2020.
Robin Larsson leads Niclas Gronholm in RallyX Nordic.
PHOTO CREDIT: JC Raceteknik.
It’s a good week because it’s race week and the first one for the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) season. While most of the 2020 field consists of familiar drivers (albeit in different teams and liveries), one of the most anticipated teams to take on the new season, will be that of KYB Team JC.
Why, you might ask?
Well, the team will see two spectacular drivers join the grid in former EKS owned Audi S1 machinery. One of the drivers being Janis Baumanis, who has always been a prominent figure on the grid and looked set to take the fight for the top position at the 2017 Cape Town RX. However, due to COVID-19 related funding problems, he will not race in the full World RX season with the team.
Mattias Ekström has been called upon to replace Baumanis for the Holjes double-header. The 2016 World RX champion came out victorious on two occasions previously and will certainly be ready to uphold the EKS name once again.
Having raced with STARD, Baumanis has 34 World RX starts to his name since 2015 and has featured on the podium twice (Norway and Canada 2019). Yet, the Latvian is hungry for that first top-step position when he returns to racing.
Joining Ekstrom and Baumanis in a similar Audi S1, will be Robin Larsson, who absolutely dominated the 2019 European RX season by winning 4 out of the 5 events. Re-joining the 2020 World RX grid, the Swede already knows the Audi S1 Quattro quite well as his flamboyant and spectacular driving style certainly suits the car. The Swede even took on the Latvian RX round in 2019 in a bid to support Andreas Bakkerud and fend off the chasing Hansen brothers last year.
Janis Baumanis (left) and Robin Larsson (right) cars for the 2020 World RX season.
PHOTO CREDIT: JC Raceteknik.
Also winning the RallyX Nordic series last year, while Bakkerud and Doran showcased the power of the EKS Audi supercar, Larsson will without a doubt also be able to aid Baumanis in getting comfortable with the new car. With the sole focus of lifting the championship trophy at the end of the season, both Baumanis and Larsson might just be the fiercest new “kids” on the block.
However, with GCK broadening out and now including Bakkerud and Doran, while GRX Taneco will undoubtedly be stronger than ever, and lastly, the Hansen's coming back from a high, the 2020 class will not be an easy task for any new team.
Yet, both KYB Team JC and it's drivers certainly has the knowledge to take on the others.
Larsson, Ekström, and Baumanis are aching to start and we are anxiously waiting to see what they can do!
Written By - Franco Theron (PedalFest SA & NamWheels) & Junaid Samodien