STARD CONFIRMS JANIS BAUMANIS AS FIRST DRIVER FOR 2019
STARD has announced that it will retain Latvia’s Janis Baumanis for the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy and intends to enter the Championship with a two-car team.
A former FIA European Rallycross Super1600 Champion, Baumanis competed in his first full World RX season in 2016, before joining the STARD team in 2017, alongside Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov.
The team scaled back to a one-car effort in 2018 and Baumanis reached the final at Canada RX, where he collected the Monster Energy Super Charge Award. He finished an impressive ninth in the World RX Drivers’ Standings.
STARD, owned by Austria’s Manfred Stohl, is developing an all-new Supercar for 2019 with the help of Japanese suspension specialists TEIN Inc.
Manfred Stohl, said: “We are looking forward to a very exciting 2019 season keeping the FIA World RX Championship as one of our priority programs from an R&D and racing activity point of view. I am also very happy to continue the cooperation with Janis Baumanis, who did an amazing job in 2018. He definitely developed into a world level driver, and his performances were a major part of our 2018 success. We had fantastic results in 2018 ending up on top of the purely private projects, despite very strong competition also among the privateers. I believe it also confirms our team’s work over the last few years when a driver decides to continue for the now third consecutive year. We want to take another step forward in 2019, especially when considering that manufacturer support has been pulled out for seven of the eighth drivers who were in front of us in 2018. It will be a very interesting year for us and World RX in general this is sure! I am also happy that damper specialist TEIN Inc. who have worked very closely with us in WRC in the past, have decided to take our cooperation a step higher and act as a team sponsor for 2019. This helps the entire project a lot.”
Janis Baumanis, commented: “It is an honor to continue for another, now third consecutive year with STARD, and their fantastic engineers and mechanics. The last two years it was a very tough fighting against the works supported teams, and I see a big opportunity to achieve very good results in 2019. I am also very happy that STARD´s damper partner TEIN from Japan will again be part of the project and even expand the partnership. That a big company like TEIN is expanding support is rewarding for all of the hard work the team and me have put into the project, and confirms that we did a good job. I am very motivated for the coming season with the team and STARD´s new car. I will again give my best!”