Jessica Bäckman scores double P7 in Motorsport Games TCC for Sweden
Representing Sweden in the Motorsport Games, Jessica Bäckman drove two impressive races in the Touring Car Cup in Vallelunga/Italy.
It wasn´t an easy first day for Jessica Bäckman at Vallelunga, with two qualifying sessions and one race. The first quali started in the wet and she finished with the 14th position for the race 1 grid, ran a few hours later, while she was sixth fastest in the dry qualifying session, valid for the second race on Sunday.
Lots of on-track action wrote this first Touring Car Cup race history.
While the leader Klim Gavrilov for Russia firstly fought with Mato Homola for Slovakia, he led the race with a gap of five seconds at the end. But, behind them, the battles were on.
Coming from sixth to third, Gilles Magnus for Belgium fought his way up through the field and kept John Filippi behind, the Frenchman having to manage a damage on his Audi RS 3 LMS.
On his way up to the front, the Belgian driver bumped the Honda Civic of Tom Coronel for the Netherlands out of the way, as he tried to hold position using the outside line of the final corner. With some damage that led to a wobbly rear-end, Coronel somehow finished the race in P8, right behind Jessica Bäckman.
The young Swedish driver came back from place 14 on the grid and battled hard for position with the drivers in front of her to score a deserved seventh place in race one. With some more laps, she would have probably had an opportunity to pass Faine Kahia of New Zealand.
Race two started with a delay caused by Mason Filippi for USA spinning during the formation lap and beaching his car in the gravel trap. Just before lap 2, the Saftey Car came out following a startline contact between Enrico Battera for Italy and Luca Engstler for Germany.
The restart saw some more hard battles and, with just three minutes on the clock, a second Safety Car phase slowed the race down. Zhen Dong Zhang for China slipped into the gravel and retired. The race was restarted just for the last lap and the showdown began: Magnus held his lead, but Gavrilov was under high pressure from Coronel and, with no contacts spared, both battled for P2.
Right behind them, Homola was keen on joining the fight, just like Rory Butcher.
Gavrilov defended his second place from Coronel, but Homola lost fourth as BTCC racer Butcher went around the outside in the final corner.
Jessica Bäckman lost one place at the restart and, as the rain resumed, she fell back to P12. But slowly and steadily she fought her way back to P8 again, just before the Safety Car came out for the final time. At the beginning of the final lap, she battled hard with Jim Ka To and the two made contact: the driver from Hong Kong was sent the wrong way round. Bäckman finished the second race in P7.
Jessica Bäckman on race 1:
"Up & down day here at FIA Motorsport Games. Wet qualy 1 & dry qualy 2, ended up 14th in the wet and 6th in the dry! In race 1 I managed to climb up the field & finished 7th in the end"