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Projekt E: Raymond level with Baumanis on Day 1

Action resumes in Latvia for round 2 of Projekt E qualifying. Raymond heads the standings overnight level on points with Baumanis after the pair won a race each.


In Q1 Janis Baumanis and Cyril Raymond from 2nd and 4th on the grid made the best start to lead into turn 1. Baumanis used the inside line from his P2 slot to take the lead through the opening corners. Behind them, Svein-Bjarte Holten slotted into 3rd with Natalie Barratt bringing up the rear of the field. The pack then split in two with the leading pair lapping 3 seconds quicker than Barratt and Holten. The Brit put pressure on Holten and despite some mistakes from the Norwegian driver, wasn’t able to pass. Out front, Raymond took to the joker lap on the second tour and was able to slot in ahead of the battling duo. Baumanis responded out front by setting the fastest lap and jokering to cover off the Frenchman. He was able to hold his lead and had even extended the gap out front with 1 lap to go. Holten joined the Latvian in the joker lap which released Barratt. Raymond closed the gap back up to be on the leader’s bumper through the last lap but wasn’t able to pass. Barratt took 3rd place at the final corner as she emerged from the joker. She held the inside line off of the joker lap while Holten ran wide and almost hit the barrier.


In Q2 the top 2 again made the best start but Raymond was able to hang on round the outside of turn 1 to take the lead on the inside of turn 2. Holten was in a similar position to Raymond on the outside of Barratt but ran too wide and he slotted into last. Holten took to the joker lap immediately and the Brit responded the next lap but was able to hold the Norwegian behind. Baumanis took the alternative route on the lap 2 as well to put pressure on the leader. Raymond repeated what Baumanis had done in Q1 by setting the fastest lap before jokering next time by to hang onto his lead. The pack stayed as they were with Raymond beating Baumanis by less than a second.

Raymond heads the standings on 95 points, equal with Baumanis. The Frenchman having had the better result in the latest qualifying session meaning he tops the table overnight. With a pair of thirds Barratt sits on 84 while behind Holten is on 80. The action continues tomorrow with Q3 and Q4 before the Final. Barratt will assume the championship lead after qualifying as she is the only returning driver after Sweden. Both Raymond and Baumanis will hope to score the maximum of 24 points by topping by qualifying and the final. Block achieved this last time out in Holjes and is the current championship leader because of it.


Featured Image Credit: @projekteseries

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