Manfred Stohl and Max Pucher decided to have their own ways for 2017 as MJP Racing becomes MJP Racing Team Austria and Stohl Racing brings a new outfit to the FIA World Rallycross Championship with Stohl's R&D company STARD lending the name to the new team and taking care of the development of the rallycross cars.
STARD is becoming known by having cool projects in different areas, like the partnership with Kia that allowed them to build the K-FORCE Kia Cee'd TCR machine, still to debut in the customer racing oriented touring class, and also the HIPER MK1, their first approach in an electric car suited to rallying and rallycross, which will also serve as the base to their most recent agreement, as STARD will develop the machines for the new E/RACING championship for electric rallycross cars.
About the World RX campaign, STARD will have a pair of Ford Fiesta ST RXS cars on track for the 2017 season, and the team announced Latvian young gun Janis Baumanis and Euro RX champion Timur Timerzyanov as the drivers, retaining the lineup from what was the World RX Team Austria. While Timerzyanov is rather consistent on track, he needs to find it with his teams as STARD is the fourth team in four World RX seasons for him, but sometimes he showed his fast pace that gave him two European titles, so he is always a guy to watch. Baumanis came with titles in his curriculum to the World RX scene, and with his convincing performance in 2015 in Argentina he got a seat into World RX Team Austria, having similar pace of his Russian team mate and ending the 2016 season not that far behind him, and he can be a strong contender if everything goes right.
2017 will also mark the second season of Manfred Stohl being only on the managerial side, acting as team principal, after participating of the championship in 2014 and 2015.