The second round of the new all-electric rallycross support series Projekt E is taking place this weekend supporting the FIA World Rallycross Championship and it’s Janis Baumanis and Cyril Raymond who share the lead at the end of Saturday.
Baumanis, who missed out on a seat in the World RX for KYB Team JC because of financial issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, made his return to the paddock by entering the series at his home track in a Ferratum Team prepared Ford Fiesta ERX.
The Latvian, who is also a development driver for the team, battled closely against two-time RX2 International Series champion Raymond who is debuting the all-new Citroën C3 ERX this weekend. The C3 is based on the R5 / Rally2 rally car and also built by STARD.
Projekt E which is the first-ever all-electric rallycross series in the world and was held for the first time in Höljes where American YouTube and rallycross star Ken Block won, althoug both him and Hermann Neubauer are missing from round two this weekend.
Svein-Bjarte Holten, who had been set to appear in the season opener before travel restrictions forced him to miss out on round one, returned to action in Latvia and will now complete the full season alongside Natalie Barratt, who is the only competitor to have now competed in both events in the shortened 2020 season.
The racing got underway with the first qualifying of the weekend on Saturday morning where the field was greeted with perfect conditions out on the track, with the sunny weather set to continue throughout this weekend.
It was a tight fight for the lead of the first race and as Baumanis started on pole position, he went on to make a perfect start. He managed to held off Raymond who wasn’t that far back behind all the way to the finish line, despite the best efforts of the Citroen driver.
But it was the home hero who took the first victory of the day with the Latvian fans standing on their feet as he crossed over the line – this round is the first World RX event of the season to allow spectators to attend in limited numbers.
In the second qualifying heat that was held in between the semi-finals and final of the first of the World RX events this wekeend, the top two’s finishing results were reversed.
Raymond managed to shut the door on Baumanis as they headed in to turn one and from there on he held on to the lead despite losing the top of his Citroën’s wing that caused him to suffer oversteer throughout the rest of the race.
As Raymond claimed the win in the second qualifying he sits as the top qualifier overnight, despite being tied on points with Baumanis, as they head into day two of action tomorrow. Barratt and Holten finished both of the qualifying sessions in third and fourth respectively.
Intermediate results after Saturday
Qualifying three and four will take place tomorrow morning ahead of the final later in the day. The Checkered Flag will continue to provide coverage on everything that happens from the event throughout the weekend.