The third round of the FIA World Rallycross, held together with the opening round of the DTM at Hockenheim in Germany, brought another points-scoring finish for the Austrian STARD team, owned by former World Rally Championship competitor, Manfred Stohl.
Based just outside Vienna, Stohl’s outfit is currently fielding two Ford Fiesta supercars, driven by two-time Supercars European Rallycross Champion, Russian Timur Timerzyanov, and Latvian S1600 European Champion Janis Baumanis, both of whom achieved a spot in the semifinals at the previous event in Montalegre, Portugal. The team clearly expected the two drivers to repeat their performance on German soil, however, that was not the case.
As Manfred Stohl himself said, “In the first heat, start position and track conditions were for both pilots not favourable, they had to start early, but the course became from run to run ever faster. With P7 [Timerzyanov] and P10 [Baumanis], the second heat was satisfactorily. A wrong strategy led to places 16 and 17 only in the third heat, whereas in the fourth qualification run with place nine for Timur and place 12 for Janis, was a good result achieved, considering the tightness of the outcome”.
In the end, only the Russian, who qualified eighth, went on to the semifinal, but a fourth-place finish meant he could go no further. Baumanis’ fiftheenth place at the end of the qualifying session still granted him two championship points.
STARD’s next challenge will come no later than this weekend, as they will be joining the grid for round four of the championship in Belgium.