Four female athletes to represent Swedish National team in 2023
Jessica Bäckman, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Klara Andersson and Julia Thulin will be the four female motorsport athletes supported by the Swedish National Team in 2023.
Among the motorsport athletes that will be supported by the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation, we will find four female drivers: Jessica Bäckman, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Klara Andersson and Julia Thulin will be part once again of the Swedish National Team in 2023. The purpose of the National Team program is to develop and support distinguished athletes competing in some of the top racing series, providing them with as many tools as possible to reach the highest levels in the sport. The program includes crucial aspects such as physical training, development planning, nutrition, data analysis, testing (asphalt, ice and simulator driving), training camps, financial support, PR/Media training, networking, clothing/equipment. "Very happy and grateful that the Swedish National Team wants to continue to invest in us", commented Jessica Bäckman, one of the drivers that will be part of the Team for the fourth consecutive year. "It is an important piece of the puzzle for us to be able to continue our path forward in our careers." "Being part of the National Team will also help us to develop as a driver and everything that comes with being an elite racing driver", the young driver from Boden, North of Sweden, added. Jessica's brother Andreas has also been confirmed in the line up. Having raced in the most competitive touring car championships, the Bäckman siblings will step up to GT4 machinery for the first time, as they will share an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the ADAC GT4 Germany series. In 2022, Jessica contested the ADAC TCR Germany and claimed the Vice-Champion title, with four wins, nine podiums, two pole positions and three fastest laps to her name. Bäckman's 2023 season started with a one-off entry in GT Winter Series, where she first drove the PROsport Aston Martin GT4 to a double class podium finish in Navarra. In a country with a big tradition in rallying and rally-cross, several drivers included in the National Team are in fact from these disciplines; having made history in 2022 for her achievements at her debut in the FIA WRX championship, Klara Andersson also returns to the Swedish National Team for the fourth year in a row. Andersson had a sterling debut in the FIA RX2e Championship in 2021, almost claiming a podium. The 22 year old driver joined CE Dealer Team in the top class of rally-cross in the following year, immediately gaining access to the final at debut. She would then claim an historic podium and win her first heat. Andersson was just as impressive in her first season in the electric off-road series Extreme E, scoring a podium at debut - before winning at her second start. She currently competes in Extreme E for ABT Cupra. 2022 Extreme E runner-up Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky is possibly one of the most versatile racing drivers, having raced in GT, touring cars, off-road, rally-cross. Åhlin-Kottulinsky had an outstanding 2022 season, dominating the first part of the Extreme E championship - and barely missing out on the title for an unfortunate final round - took victories in the Nitro Rallycross championship and winning at three out of the four guest appearances in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Scandinavia, where she made her GT4 debut. Åhlin-Kottulinsky is used to make history, having also been the most successful female driver in Scandinavia's premier touring car championship, the STCC. She is back with Rosberg X Racing in the 2023 Extreme E season and has so far secured two podiums at the opening round in Saudi Arabia. Also proudly representing her country in the National Team will be rally co-driver Julia Thulin, 25. "When I got the call, it was a very clear yes, thankful that I got the opportunity and the confidence to represent Sweden", Thulin said. In a very important season for female rally co-drivers, Thulin stood out among the biggest names in the sport, taking second place and a victory in WRC-3 Junior in her two participations. Thulin is navigating Pontus Tidemand in this year's European Rally Championship, aboard the MRF Tyres Dealer Team Ford Fiesta Rally2. "A big applause to SBF who have chosen to bet on us co-drivers who play an important role in the outcome of the rally", Thulin continued. "Finding a new, unified team with two big names like Jonas Andersson and Patrik Barth in the top, I promise that together we will accomplish big things."