Team STARD endure difficult 2018 World RX of Great Britain

by Phil Kinch

Team STARD have one full time entry in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship with Janis Baumanis competing in all twelve rounds of the season, however there were two Ford Fiesta’s for the Austrian team at Silverstone.

The former FIA World Touring Car Championship race winner Ma Qing Hua made his debut in World RX last weekend at the 2018 World RX of Great Britain, making him the first Chinese driver to enter the series.

However it was a difficult debut for the former Formula E driver as he got used to the Ford Fiesta Supercar that he had last driven back in March at the pre-season test held at Loheac in France.

Ma Qing Hua had a difficult debut in the 2018 World RX of Great Britain as he learned the ways of Rallycross. Credit: Team STARD

After completing the first Qualifying session, Ma jumped the start twice in his Q2 race which saw him disqualified. Despite this, Team Principal Manfred Stohl explains that this was a learning curve for his new driver.

“It was clear that you could not expect any miracles from him at the first meeting with the best rallycross drivers in the world. After the bad start at the beginning he might have put a little too much pressure on the second time. But that’s part of the learning process,” explained Stohl.

“In any case the fast sector times, which Ma drove on the second day in between, are definitely positive. This shows us that he has a good baseline speed. Everything else comes with time and I am convinced that every mistake makes him stronger. “

Baumanis was battling the flu at Silverstone as well as battling to make it to the Semi-Finals. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

Janis Baumanis had a less than impressive event during the new Speed Machine Festival as he was battling the flu as well as the other twenty two drivers in the field.

Despite this, the Latvin driver pushed on with the task of trying to make the Semi-Finals. Unfortunately an incident with 2017 FIA European Rallycross Champion Anton Marklund ended his run with fourteenth place overall at the end of Qualifying.

The high flying Latvian missed out on Qualifying after contact with Anton Marklund. Credit: Team STARD

“Unfortunately, Anton Marklund drove into the car in during Qualifying race three and this damaged the car. So Janis ended up with the slowest time of the field during that session,” said Stohl.

“After that session was over, this ended our hopes of making the Semi-Final’s in England.”

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