The Lithuanian team ESmotorsport-Labas GAS today announced 19-year-old Rokas Baciuska as their driver for the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship, presented by Monster Energy.
Baciuska, the current European Rallycross Champion in Super1600 class, will campaign a Skoda Fabia in the 10 rounds of the new season starting in Abu Dhabi on April 5-6.
ESmotorsport-Labas GAS may be new to World RX but according to team founder and former rallycross driver, Ernestas Staponkus the team has covered over 1,000km of kilometres in testing in 2018 and has prepared well for the challenges ahead.
Staponkus also has confidence that Baciuska can meet the demands of a rookie season in World RX. He said: “We developed our car with the help of many different drivers from different categories, not only rallycross. But at the end we decided to start with young talent from our country.
“Last year, Rokas Baciuska won European Rallycross Championship in the Super1600 class. We are sure that he will be able to fight with the fastest drivers in the world this season.”
Baciuska is looking forward the upcoming season. “From the very first full season in Super1600 class I won the European rallycross championship straight away. Of course, I don’t expect to do the same this season in World RX, but we will fight for the highest places. Not from the very first race maybe but during the season we believe we can go to fight for the podium.”
Staponkus also confirmed that ESmotorsport-Labas GAS team is working on a second car and that Kevin Abbring would fill the seat. He said: “The second car is on the way. We want to introduce it in World RX during the season and to be able to fight for the team championship from the next season.
“To my mind Kevin Abbring is one of the fastest drivers in World Rallycross. He can win World Championship and we are happy that he will try to do it with us.”