BAUMANIS AND OŠS HAVE AN EVENTFUL DAY ONE OF THEIR HOME EVENT
On Saturday, as part of Ferratum World RX of Rīga, the third round of the 2021 FIA European Rallycross Championship in Euro RX1 class began with the first two qualifying heats. Two Latvian drivers, Jānis Baumanis and Edijs Ošs, are competing among the fastest European competitors, with Baumanis concluding day one in the top five, while Ošs is currently sixteenth. The remaining two qualifying heats, as well as the semi-finals and the final will take place on Sunday, September 19.
In Euro RX1 Q1, both ESMotorsport team drivers, Andreas Bakkerud and Jānis Baumanis, were in the same heat. Both of them had already demonstrated the rapid pace of the Škoda Fabia in free practice, with both Lithuanian team representatives being on top of the timesheets. This pace had not gone missing between free practice and Q1 – Bakkerud got off to a better start and into the lead, with Baumanis following him closely all the way to the finish. With that, Bakkerud won both the heat and Q1 overall, with Baumanis being fast enough for a second place in the Q1 classification, beating Hedstrom by a quarter of a second.
Edijs Ošs, who is also competing in a Škoda Fabia, was fifth in his heat after the start and did not manage to overtake any of his opponents on track, having to settle for a seventeenth quickest time in Q1.
In Q2, Jānis Baumanis had quite a rollercoaster of a heat. Competing alongside the quickest drivers of Q1, Baumanis moved into third place at the start, behind Hedstrom and Dubourg. He decided to do the joker section on the first lap, but later, when Bryntesson did his joker lap, he came out right ahead of Baumanis – there was some contact that damaged both cars, but Baumanis found his way around Bryntesson, finishing Q2 with the sixth fastest time overall.
“As in rallycross, it is impossible to avoid contact. You can try and make a deal with some of your competitors to drive clean, but that almost never happens and Q2 was proof of that. The only driver you respect is your own teammate. There were a lot of battles at the first corner and on the exit of the joker section,” says Jānis Baumanis.
“We still need to find a consistent pace, as some laps we are fast, some laps we struggle. We need to find a good middle ground, where I am happy with the car and can fully focus on the driving, and not looking for the best possible setup. In Q1, Polish driver Topolewski ‘helped’ to bend a wheel which led to the car feeling different than in the free practice. I had to use the handbrake in places where it should not be required. It is never boring in Biķernieki – turns come immediately after each other and the whole lap takes just 50 seconds, so there is lots of work to do both at the wheel and at the computers when doing analysis. No complaints there.”
Meanwhile, Edijs Ošs got off to a slow start in Q2, but Topolewski and August had contact when battling for the lead, resulting in a spin for August. Ošs managed to get past the German driver and conclude Q2 with third place in his heat and sixteenth place overall.
“In free practice, we did not have enough boost from the turbo and could not understand what was happening with the car. There was not enough power, so we went to Q1 with a lot of questions and uncertainties. This car is obviously not competitive with the top guys, so we are staying realistic. Q2 went much better and we managed to get into some battles, but still could not overtake other drivers even if they made mistakes,” shares Edijs Ošs.
“I do not think that we can make big enough improvements before tomorrow to get to where we would want to be. Of course, there are some changes we can make, but not to the extent of finding 3-4 seconds. Both of my runs were clean, and all we are really missing is power. This is the first season with this car – it is one thing to be competitive in the national level events, and another thing to compete here. I know we can do a bit better, there is still some work to be done on the engine setup before tomorrow.”
Pailler was fastest in Q2 and concluded day one of Ferratum World RX of Rīga as the leader with 88 points. Bakkerud is two points behind him in second, while Jānis Baumanis is currently fifth with 83 points, behind Dubourg and Hedstrom. Edijs Ošs has earned 55 points which is good enough for sixteenth place overnight.
⏱ RESULTS: ERX1_Q2_points_LVA1_2021
Tickets to Ferratum World RX of Rīga, taking place on September 18 and 19 in Rīga, Biķernieki circuit, are available in Biļešu Paradīze locations, as well as online at www.bilesuparadize.lv.