SAMU D. OSWALD
ADAC TCR Germany: Jessica Bäckman claims two more podiums
After a six-week summer break for ADAC TCR Germany, 24-year-old Swede Jessica Bäckman resumed her impressive season with two more podium finishes: with now 6 podiums out of 8 races this season, she maintains second place in the championship.
The weekend from 5th to 7th of August officially launched the second half of the racing season for ADAC TCR Germany. After a six-week summer break, the fourth race meeting started on Friday with the free practice sessions at the Nürburgring, Germany.
Jessica Bäckman (ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau) has been the protagonist of the German-based touring car championship, claiming four race victories to date.
The young Swede started off the weekend with really promising practice sessions, as she topped the timing sheets at the end of Friday's action.
On Saturday, qualifying brought some more challenges, with some traffic problems to hamper Bäckman's chances to set a fast lap. She still managed to settle in fourth place and started the race from the second row.
With a good start in the first race on Saturday, Jessica Bäckman had to work hard to defend her place from Marco Butti (Elite Motorsport). With some strong defensive driving under pressure, Bäckman managed to not only keep her position from Butti, but also caught up with Szymon Ladniak (Liqui Moly Team Engstler) in third place.
The 24-year-old started to put pressure on Ladniak and started an exciting fight for the final step of the podium. Bäckman and Ladniak’s cars made contact - which was under investigation from the stewards - and Jessica was handed a warning. Nevertheless, she won the battle for third position with eleven minutes left on the clock.
Jessica took the chequered flag in third place and secured herself another podium finish, also scoring the fastest lap of the race.
“On Saturday, we didn't have the flow in qualifying, which made the race tougher", she explained. "In the end I was happy with the day, I managed to get a podium and show good speed during the race, it was motivating to see the leaders in front of me and to be able to catch them more and more every lap", she commented. "In such a situation I would have hoped the race was a few minutes longer."
Current championship leader, Martin Andersen (Liqui Moly Team Engstler) drove a dominant race from start to finish and won the race in front of Jonas Karklys (NordPass).
On Sunday, qualifying was smoother than the day before for Jessica Bäckman: she was able to set a lap that put her in second place. Unfortunately, her final attempt to get pole position didn’t work out due to too much traffic.
At lights out, she had an amazing start and fired into the lead after overtaking pole-setter Martin Andersen (Liqui Moly Team Engstler) off the line. Certainly, she was heavily pressured by the championship leader behind her, who would ultimately get through on the second lap at the first corner.
But Jessica showed no intention of backing down and tried to keep up the pace with Andersen - which worked. With about seven minutes left, the gap had been reduced to 2.7 seconds.
In the end, Bäckman crossed the finish line with a 1.944 second gap to Andersen, securing the second podium of the weekend, with another very positive second place.
“On Sunday, the car felt much better in qualifying, which was also enough for a second place, then I focused on making a good start and I think this was my best start ever in my career", Jessica said. "It's a shame that I didn't manage to keep the lead to the finish, but a second place is also very good."
"Overall, it was a good weekend for the team - now we recharge for the Lausitzring in two weeks”, Jessica Bäckman stated.
The Sweden National Team driver has now claimed six podium finishes out of eight races this season. She retains second place in the championship standings with 205 points behind Martin Andersen (234 points).
ADAC TCR Germany and Jessica Bäckman will return to the track in two weeks' time, on 19th/21st August at the Lausitzring, Germany.