Jessica Bäckman scores first ever win at Oschersleben in ADAC TCR Germany
At the first race of the ADAC TCR Germany season, Swedish racecar driver Jessica Bäckman not only had her full-time debut in the series, but also conquered her first international win in race 1. Technical issues in qualifying resulted in a great recovery on Sunday from last to fifth.
It´s a new chapter in the history of ADAC TCR Germany - with new teams, new drivers, new cars and new tyres. The Oschersleben weekend was the premier for the new generation of Audi RS3 LMS and Hyundai Veloster. With seven brands, the new fuel "Blue Gasoline 98 GT Masters" - the environmentally friendly fuel manufactured by 50% from regeneratively-produced components - and new tyres supplied by Hankook, ADAC TCR Germany aims at becoming one of the leading TCR series in Europe.
Among the 13 announced drivers for the first racing weekend at Oschersleben we find a star female entry: Jessica Bäckman. The 24-year-old Swede directly moved into touring cars after karting and has since then entered most of the major European TCR championships. In 2018, Jessica competed both in the Scandinavian and British-based championships, where she scored her first podium.
In 2019, Bäckman made her debut in TCR Europe and made history once again after finishing third in Hockenheim - an all time best for women in the series. Over the years, she managed to climb the steps of the rostrum in four different TCR championships. Alongside her main commitments in TCR Europe (2020) and WTCR (2021), Bäckman made one-off appearances in both TCR Germany and STCC, often finishing on the podium. At Anderstorp, Sweden, Jessica finished third in her latest STCC start last year.
At Oschersleben, she tackled the first qualifying session of the year - and her weekend started with a great performance in qualifying that put Jessica Bäckman (ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau) in second place for the first race of the season, behind Martin Andersen (LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler) and ahead of Jonas Karklys (Jutaracing).
On Saturday evening, German time, the season was fully heralded: right after the start of the race, Bäckman was able to overtake the leader, Martin Anderson, and got herself into P1. She dominated the race, was able to keep and extend her lead.
After the 30 minutes plus 1 lap race, Jessica Bäckman secured the P1 and carried the win across the finish line in front of Andersen and Karklys. This was the first international win for the 24 year old race car driver from Sweden.
"Feels amazing to finally take my long-awaited race win, I have won a lot in karting both nationally and internationally but never in a racing car." - she commented.
"That it also happened in an international race when I first hear the Swedish national anthem on the podium feels extra special as it has been another goal I have wanted to achieve" - Bäckman continued.
Sadly, on the second race day, the qualifying session didn’t go to plan for Bäckman, as she was not able to post a qualifying time due to mechanical issues on her car.
Therefore the 24 year old had to start Sunday's race from the back of the field on P13.
Andersen took pole from Karklys and Rene Kircher (ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau).
With the whole field ahead of her Hyundai, she had a really good start and was able to overtake five cars shortly after the green lights to advance into eighth place. Increasing the pace, a few laps later, she made her way up to P5.
Due to a car off the track the Safety Car was deployed and led the pack almost until the end of the running time. The Safety Car pulled into the pitlane only to let the field go by for one last lap at racing speed: in the lead, Andersen set the pace and defended his position until the chequered flag, ahead of Karklys and Kircher.
Following her strong recovery from the last row, Jessica Bäckman finished the race on a greatly impressive fifth place and scored enough points to be third in the championship after the first weekend of racing.
"Not the best start on Sunday with the technical problems in the qualifying, otherwise I felt strong and had a good chance of another top place", she commented. "I still feel satisfied with race 2 on Sunday, I did what I could from my starting position, so from here I look forward to the next race at Red Bull Ring in just over a month, big thanks to my team ROJA Motorsport", Jessica concluded.
ADAC TCR Germany and Jessica Bäckman will be back on 20th to 22nd May at Red Bull Ring, Austria.