Countdown to WRX of Spain (CEST)

22 Feb 2016

WRX: JB – “I love this sport”

Category: ERX, News, WRX Posted 22.02.16 12:21 by

New kid on the block, Jānis Baumanis turned heads during the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship, winning the Super1600 title in his second Rallycross season. Baumanis, now 23 only started his racing career six years ago but has quickly become one of Latvia’s best driving prospects.


New to Rallycross in 2014, Baumanis is actually both a Baltic and double Latvian champion in Autocross earning him the acclaimed title of Master of Motorsports in his native Latvia.

A successful 2014 season, classified him as 3rd place overall in the Super1600 European Rallycross Championship, and a hard fought title winning campaign in 2015. Baumanis delivered consistent results throughout, gaining the Championship ahead of Dane Ulrik Linnemann.

Now facing is biggest challenge yet, and on board with a new team Baumanis reveals is thoughts ahead of the upcoming season.


The winners podium of the Super1600 drivers: (from left) Ernestas Staponkus, Jānis Baumanis and Ulrik Linnemann. © JKR/ERC24

Baumanis on podium alongside Super1600 drivers: (left) Ernestas Staponkus, and (right) Ulrik Linnemann. © JKR/ERC24


ERC24: Making the step up from Super1600, who do you think will be your biggest challenge this season?

“I have driven almost every track in World RX, with the exception of Hockenheim, Canada and the new track in Latvia. So I think these will be the biggest difficulties for me to drive on the unknown tracks. But of course Argentina was also new for everybody in 2015, and I wasn’t slow!”


ERC24: Driving a Super1600 car to the championship title last year, and trying the Supercar in Argentina – what are the biggest difficulties and differences in driving a Supercar compared to a Super1600?

“The biggest challenge for a Super1600 is being patient, and it’s the same for Supercar.”

“In my opinion it is quite hard to make the transition from Supercar to S1600, but it’s much easier to switch the other way. Of course the Supercar is much faster and therefore the driving comes with extra challenges and pressures.”

“Still – it is racing and I love being in a race car. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s in a FWD with 250hp or AWD with 600hp – you race from start line to the finish.”


ERC24:  Why did you choose to join this team and not others?

“World RX Team Austria are a fantastic group of people with a great atmosphere, so in a way it was an easy choice for me for the 2016 season. I have also spent quite a lot of time in Austria and I love it as country, so it was a perfect combination.”


ERC24: Rallycross is now a World Championship. What are your ambitions as a driver? Do events like the GRC attract you?

“My aim is to finish championship in the top three in 3 years’ time. That’s my mission and what I want to achieve to be successful in my own eyes. GRC also is a great championship, with great drivers – so who knows!”


ERC24: Do you think you and Timur Timerzyanov have the cars to challenge the top drivers?

“Definitely! The team did enter the championship in 2015 and in the last two races the cars came very close to podium finishes. I know that MJP Racing together with Stohl Racing can build challenging cars and so we have the backing to be able to fight for good results.”


ERC24:  What do you like the most about Rallycross?

“I like everything about Rallycross. Atmosphere, people, racing side by side, overtaking, jumps, spectators, really powerful cars, and of course the joker lap. I love this sport, it’s brilliant.”


Latvian Jānis Baumanis finished Day 1 on top of the Super1600 Overnight Standings. © JKR/ERC24

Latvian Jānis Baumanis drove a Super1600 Renault Twingo Mk2 during the 2015 season. © JKR/ERC24


Latvian Jānis Baumanis took the overall victory of the Super1600 class in Belgium. © JKR/ERC24

Latvian Jānis Baumanis taking overall victory during the 2015 Super1600 final in Belgium. © JKR/ERC24                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Top Photo:  Baumanis taking victory during the 2014 Belgian round. © JKR/ERC24