Baumanis to make World RX return in Projekt E

Ex-STARD man's electric switch could pave the way for further Ekström outings


Janis Baumanis – who had been due to race the Audi that Mattias Ekström has put into title contention – will return to the World Rallycross bill for his home event in Latvia.

But Baumanis will drive a Ford Fiesta ERX2 in the Projekt E support category rather than taking up his originally-planned JC Raceteknik Audi seat.

In joining the electric series, the 2015 European Super1600 champion realigns with STARD, with which he raced in World RX last season. He took a career-best of second in Canada, two rounds after clinching a maiden podium in Norway.

“I’m very thankful to [sponsor] Ferratum and STARD for trusting me with the Fiesta ERX for the race in Riga,” said Baumanis.

“STARD has developed the car a lot from when I was driving it in Riga one year ago, I’m sure there are a lot of things that have been improved and I can’t wait to get into it.

“Obviously it’s a bit sad that I can’t do the full World RX Championship in Supercar like it was planned, but that’s life and hopefully everybody understands the situation that’s happening in the world right now is not the easiest for anyone, but I’m really looking forward to do the Projekt E race in Riga.”

Janis Baumanis

Ekström, 2016 World RX champion, was drafted in at the 11th hour to replace Baumanis ahead of the Höljes season opener.

Baumanis had originally signed up for a full season with JC Raceteknik, competing in an Audi S1, but funding issues that came about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic forced him onto the sidelines.

Meanwhile Ekström filled his seat for the opening four rounds of the season, won round two, and established himself as an early title contender despite his wildcard status.

The double DTM champion admitted an interest in seeing out the season, but speaking after his win at Höljes, admitted that there are some hurdles in the way.

When contacted by DirtFish previously, JC Raceteknik said that “nothing was done yet” regarding a signing for its second seat alongside reigning European Supercars champion Robin Larsson.

Words:Dominik Wilde

Photos:World RX Media