Round seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Höljes in Sweden is perhaps the longest-awaited event on the calendar for both fans and competitors. Among the latter, young Austrian outfit STARD is definitely eager to take part in the Swedish meeting.
Run by former World Rally Championship driver, as well as World Rallycross competitor, Manfred Stohl, the STARD team is fielding two Ford Fiesta Supercars, driven by Russian double European Rallycross Championship for Supercars winner Timur Timerzyanov and Latvian Janis Baumanis, 2015 EuroRX Super1600 Champion
“The Holjes Motorstadion [is] probably [the] coolest course for us, Stohl says.
“A true rollercoaster, where the cars are more in the air than on the ground. A spectacle from the start to the finish”
Another characteristic that sets Höljes apart from other venues is the fans who every year flock to this small racing circuit deep in the forests of Värmland, about twenty miles east of the Norwegian border: no less than 30,000 spectators are expected this year, creating a unique atmosphere; the Swedish round of the series is, in fact, well known among rallycross fans as “the Magic Weekend”.
As for the drivers themselves, both Timerzyanov and Baumanis are entering the event full of confidence: the Russian, who made it to the final last time round in Norway, has already won multiple times at Höljes, and for the last time in 2012, when he clinched his first EuroRX title at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 prepared by Hansen Motorsport (now known as Team Peugeot-Hansen). Baumanis also won there, en route to his EuroRX S1600 title back in 2015.
Although the Austrian outfit hasn’t yet shone in the World Championship (Timerzyanov is currently tenth overall, Baumanis down in fourteenth), team boss Stohl believes things might change this time round:
“Holjes is definitely a track, on which, because of its uniqueness, surprises are possible – and we hope, to be perhaps part of such a surprise”.
This year’s World RX of Sweden kicks off on Friday, 30 June.