Rain dampens result for Baumanis and #YellowSquad at ‘Magic Weekend’
All results here from the FIA European Rallycross Championship – Round 2 – Sweden
Höljes, Sweden, July 3 2022
In front of over 20,000 people at Holjes in Sweden Latvian star Janis Baumanis and the #YellowSquad team battled with some of the best rallycross drivers in the world throughout the Magic Weekend, but a brief rain shower during the third qualifying race meant fast pace couldn’t be converted into a top result.
Mixed conditions had been the order of the day on Saturday, but a strong performance by Baumanis left him seventh in the day one classification, just a handful of qualifying points outside the top four.
Looking to climb the order on Sunday morning, Baumanis ran in the first race of heat three. A short, heavy rain shower at the Varmland circuit, for only the duration of the opening race of the session meant that Baumanis did his best on dry tyres in extremely challenging conditions. Despite surviving the five-lap race his time was almost a minute slower than the fastest time set in the later races of the session. An incredible margin in a sport where it is usually tenths of a second separating the leading contenders, leaving Baumanis with only the 20th best time.
Ninth in the raking after the heats, Baumanis did all he could in the progression race and semi-final, but agonisingly with the new-for-2022 format, due to the wet run in heat three and his compromised ranking position, second place in the third semi-final meant he just missed out on a place in the final.
Classified sixth in the event, Baumanis’ performance at the end of the weekend was a strong damage-limitation exercise, and while several of his fellow regular Euro RX1 competitors also ran into difficulties, the Latvian former European Rallycross Champion climbed to second in the 2022 standings. A positive outcome from a challenging weekend with four rounds of the season remaining.
#YellowSquad Euro RX1 Driver
“If somebody was unlucky this weekend then it was for sure me. It was difficult Saturday and then more difficult on Sunday, with rain in heat three easy hopes for the final were gone when we dropped out of the top places.
I did what I could in the semi-final, for sure I could have done more, but to be closer to [Johan] Kristoffersson and to overtake him then I need to do a lot of driving and learn a lot more. Especially somewhere like Holjes where he knows every centimetre of the track.
We’re second in the championship now, that’s not bad but there is a gap to the leader so we need to work hard in the coming races. There are still four races in the championship to go and this is rallycross, anything can happen so we will work hard to fight back.”
#YellowSquad Team Manager
“We had some small issues during the weekend but the big one was when it was raining only for our race in heat three, which put us much lower in the ranking positions than we would have been, then it was very difficult even with a good progression race and semi-final to make to the final. All-in-all, the pace was quite good through the weekend and we were a bit unlucky overall. It was great to be back at the Magic Weekend in Holjes but now our focus is straight onto improving for the next races.”