SAMU D. OSWALD
After strong start, Jessica Bäckman hits trouble at Lausitzring
After clinching her second pole position, Sweden National Team driver Jessica Bäckman had a troubled weekend in ADAC TCR Germany at the Lausitzring: despite she could only finish Race 2, she keeps second place in the championship standings.
The last weekend of August and fifth round of the 2022 ADAC TCR Germany season started really well for Jessica Bäckman, with a perfect second free practice session where she was able to claim the 1st position. In the first qualifying, a tough fight between the young Swede and the current championship leader Martin Andersen (LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler) ultimately led to Bäckman having to settle for second place, finishing merely 42 thousandths of a second off of Andersen. In Saturday's qualifying, with the rain pouring down at Lausitzring, she could claim her second Pole Position of the season, beating Andersen by 0.133 seconds. "The qualifying was very exciting, it's fun when it's so close at the front, then it's important to always set the perfect laps to take home the first place." - Jessica Bäckman said. "I am satisfied with the speed this weekend and satisfied that I achieved a Pole Position in wet conditions". The first race of the weekend, though, was off to a bad start due to too much wheelspin. Jessica went from second place to sixth, as Andersen was overtaken by his team mate Szymon Ladniak (LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler). The 24-year-old then found herself fighting hard to overtake Vincent Redermecker (Maurer Motorsport) in fifth position. It was a back and forth battle, with Bäckman overtaking Redermecker and then the latter getting his position back; with around 23 minutes left in the race, she was able to finally claim 5th place and tried to catch up with the drivers in front - at that point with a 7.249 second gap to Andersen. Sadly, the race would end early, as she drifted off at turn 7, spun and got stuck in the gravel. Even with several tries to get out of the gravel trap, Jessica had no chance to resume the race. The Safety Car was deployed so that Bäckman’s car was able to be retrieved by the marshals. In the end, Martin Andersen took the win, ahead of Szymon Ladniak and Rene Kircher (ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau). The second race, contested on a dry Sunday, looked promising. But again the Sweden National Team Driver couldn't capitalize at the start and dropped to fourth position. At the front of the pack were now Martin Andersen, Szymon Ladniak and Jonas Karklys (NordPass). Yet, giving up was no option and Jessica fought very hard to defend her position and catch up to the leading cars. With 11 minutes left on the clock, she had managed to recover, and was only separated by around 4 seconds to the leader, Martin Andersen. Suddenly, with about two laps left in the race, Jessica was back in the middle of the fight for third position, having her sight up to second position - with Jonas Karklys also really close. While trying to overtake Ladniak, Bäckman was hit hard into the side of her car and was pushed off track on the penultimate lap of the race. Although Jessica was able to continue the race, she had to settle for a disappointing 8th position. Andersen won in front of Ladniak and Karklys. With this win, Andersen defended and extended his championship lead. Despite the very unlucky weekend, Jessica Bäckman keeps second position in the ADAC TCR Germany championship, with 231 points to her tally. "It was a tough weekend, especially when there were crashes that I can't control, it’s disappointing when I had the aim and the chance for the championship", Jessica Bäckman said. "I will do everything I can to get good results for the rest of the season and enjoy and have fun, anything can happen in motorsport so I will not give up the fight” - she concluded. And the fight for the championship in ADAC TCR Germany will continue on the weekend of 23th to 25th of September at the Sachsenring, Germany.