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Projekt E: Raymond wins on Citroen Debut

Cyril Raymond took victory in the final of Projekt E after beating Janis Baumanis. The Frenchman topped qualifying in Citroen’s electric rallycross debut and jumped to joint second in the standings.

Using pole position Raymond held the inside line over the local driver and took the lead at turn 1. Baumanis slotted in directly behind with Svein-Bjarte Holten and Natalie Barratt bringing up the rear. Barratt was the first to joker on lap 1 as she was stuck behind Holten.  After jumping the start the female racer needed to complete an additional joker lap. Holten responded on the next lap and was able to cover off the charging Brit. Raymond was able to extend his lead to 1.5 seconds before Baumanis took the alternative route. Raymond responded on the next lap and when he emerged from the joker lap had increased his lead. After completing her second joker lap, Barratt had closed back in on Holten. The pair ran nose to tail for the remainder of the race with Barratt unable to pass for the last spot on the podium. Raymond crossed the line first with Baumanis 2 seconds back. The pair completed donuts in celebration.



Raymond won the 2 qualifying sessions on Sunday to take the Top Qualifier spot. In Q3 Raymond used pole to take the lead at turn 1. Holten tried to slot into third and made light contact with Baumanis, as did Barratt. Holten slotted in behind Barratt and Baumanis but the Latvian driver slowed with a broken rear left wheel. Baumanis was able to hold off the field for a handful of corners. He continued at reduced pace for the rest of the race but was lapped just before the finish which gave him a DNF. Barratt spun whilst passing Baumanis which gave Holten second place. The race order remained static with gaps of over 10 seconds between each car by the end.

Q4 was a much closer affair. Baumanis used his fourth place starting spot to go around the outside and take the lead at turn 1. Raymond was all over his tail and tried to pass for the lead including over the standard lap jump. The pair made contact but held their position. The Citroen driver jokered on lap 3 to try and take the lead. When Baumanis came out of the joker lap the pair were side by side. Raymond used the outside line of the standard lap and carried more speed to the line to take victory in Q4 by just 0.396 seconds. Behind the leading pair, Holten had taken 3rd from the start. Barratt jokered immediately but was covered off by the Norwegian driver. The duo then stayed together with Barratt unable to pass.

Natalie Barratt leads the standings after being the only driver to compete at both rounds. She sits on 35 points with the maximum score in a weekend being 24 unless more cars can enter the series. Both Ken Block and Raymond have 24 points after topping qualifying and winning a final each. Janis Baumanis sits on 20 just ahead of Hermann Neubauer and Holten. Spa Francorchamps hosts the next round in November. If Barratt competes and 5 cars or less are entered then she will still retain her championship lead.

Featured Image Credit: World Rallycross Championship

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