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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Jessica Bäckman qualifies in the top-10 at GT4 Europe debut

Among a 50 car field in the highly-competitive GT4 Europe, Jessica Bäckman and her brother Andreas had remarkable qualifying sessions at GT4 debut and will line up in P6 and P9 at the Monza season opener.

Photo credits: SRO / Kevin Pecks

At her first full season in GT4 racing, Jessica Bäckman had a remarkable start of her weekend – as she enters the Monza season opener of GT4 Europe, one of the most competitive and crowded championships at this level of competitions.

Bäckman, who shares the #19 ProSport Aston Martin with her brother Andreas, is preparing for her full season in ADAC GT4 following several seasons at the top of touring car racing: in 2022, the young Swede was Vice-Champion in the German-based TCR series, having also claimed podiums in TCR UK, STCC and TCR Europe.

Jessica approached GT4 machinery for the first time last November, during a driver shootout in the US, and decided to make the step up full time in 2023.

After a one-off in GT Winter Series at Navarra – where Bäckman teamed up with experienced GT4 racer Gabriela Jilkova at ProSport, securing two second places – the Bäckman siblings announced a guest appearance in GT4 European Championship, on a 50-car field at the Temple of Speed.

Jessica and Andreas showed speed right from the pre-event practice, where they finished eighth among the Silver Cup entries.

On a track where she scored her best result of the season in TCR Europe in 2021, Jessica consistently built confidence in the two practice sessions, where she ended P18 and P14 respectively.

But it would be in the two Saturday qualifying sessions that Jessica and her brother Andreas proved they can run at the top end of such a competitive field.

Andreas got behind the wheel of the bright Aston Martin-traditional green Vantage GT4 for the 20 minute of Q1. The session was disrupted by a red flag for a massive accident at the second chicane: the #24 JSB Aston Martin lost fluid and the #30 Porsche driven by Hendrik Still lost control, making heavy impact head on with the Tecpro barriers. He was followed by the #75 Porsche Collection car of Ivan Jacoma, who t-boned Still’s Porsche. The drivers emerged unhurt from the scary accident, but track repairs meant that the session resumed with seven minutes left on the clock.

Just before the red flag, Andreas Bäckman had managed to set the fifth fastest time overall – and fourth in the Silver Cup.

In the final minutes, Benjamin Lariche took pole in the #3 Speedcar Audi, ahead of Louis Meric (#7 mirage Racing Aston) and Gael Castelli (CSA Racing Audi). As the chequered flag fell, Bäckman was P6 overall and fifth among the Silvers, in a highly positive performance.

It was Jessica’s turn in Q2 – and the 25-year-old was just as impressive. The newly-announced driver part of the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy programme was 15th in her first effort, then moved up to third place overall mid-way through the session.

With a 1:56.051 in her fourth lap, Bäckman was ninth fastest – claiming a top ten start for race 2 at her first GT4 qualifying.

The first race of the weekend will go green at 16:50 local time, with the Bäckman siblings lining up on the third row. Jessica will take over the #19 Aston Martin at the driver change.



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