Two-time RX2 International Series champion Cyril Raymond claimed a debut win with the all-new Citroën Racing supported Citroën C3 ERX in the second round of the 2020 Projekt E series at Riga.
The new car was supposed to make its debut with Mads Østberg behind the wheel back at the opening round in Sweden earlier this summer, but the appearance was postponed to this weekend due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Instead it was the former FIA World Rallycross Championship driver from France who gave it its first public outing and he stormed to a debut win.
Raymond took the top qualifier spot at the end of Saturday by winning the second qualifying session ahead of home hero Janis Baumanis, who had won Q1 earlier in the day.
Raymond continued to dominate in Sunday’s two further qualifying sessions. He took another win in Q3 when Baumanis’ car suffered broken suspension due to contact between the pair as they headed into turn one.
In Q4, it was quite a more even battle between the duo. Baumanis took an early lead but was being forced to defend hard against Raymond. The Citroen driver then took an early joker to get some breathing space to try and then set a fast time to get ahead of his rival and it couldn’t have worked better as he went on to win Q4.
Nathalie Barratt, who is the only driver to return to the series from the first round, was deemed to have made a jump start so had to take two joker laps, and when the restart was made both Raymond and Baumanis went side-by-side into turn one.
Raymond came out in the lead which he held on to take his and the car’s first win in the first-ever electric international rallycross series,
Baumanis couldn’t get past Raymond and was seemingly a little off the pace compared to Raymond throughout the race. Stein-Bjarte Holten completed the podium and finished ahead of Barratt.
The third round of four in the inaugural season of the Projekt E is scheduled to be held at Spa-Francorchamps in November before the season is completed t the Nürburgring in Germany in December.