Austrian outfit STARD are aiming high for next weekend’s round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières racetrack in Canada, 5-6 August.
Moving the whole team from Europe to North America is clearly a big logistic challenge, but both team owner as well as former World RX and WRC competitor Manfred Stohl and team manager Martin Ertl are more than prepared to tackle it:
“For instance, all hotels for the complete crew of all twelve World Championship rounds, from Barcelona via Canada up to South Africa, had to be booked already in January. An equally orderly resolution is required for the transport of the vehicles and equipment”, Ertl says.
In fact, to make sure that all the equipment, and most importantly, the two Ford Fiesta Supercars driven by Russian Timur Timerzyanov and Latvian Janis Baumanis will reach Canada on time for the event, STARD arranged for them to be transported to Rotterdam right after the last Championship round (1-2 July) in Sweden: from the Dutch harbour, they would then be shipped across the pond.
Moving on to sporting ambitions, Stohl reckons both drivers have shown good form on the past two rounds in Norway and Sweden, and therefore hopes their form remains on the Canadian event:
“[I hope that] we can take along the positive trend of Scandinavia, where we participated in the finale in both Norway and Sweden, and that we can continue this also in Canada.
“This is a high-speed course with a very definite flow, which should actually suit our drivers. Especially Janis, after reaching the finals in Sweden, hopefully gained more confidence. There he finally demonstrated his potential.”
Timerzyanov, meanwhile, can be proud of setting the new lap record for the Canadian circuit, with 47.111 seconds, on his way to qualifying second overall. Despite that, the Russian was then disqualified for illegal contact during his semi-final.
Action in Trois-Rivières starts on Saturday, 5 August, with the first free practice session at 09:15 (local time).