Jessica Bäckman steps up to WTCR
Swedish TCR specialist Jessica Bäckman announced a switch to the World Touring Car Cup - becoming the first woman in the championship.
Jessica Bäckman has been one of Sweden's most promising karting prospects before making her car racing debut in touring cars – a move that proved to be really successful for the 23-year old driver from Boden.
Racing alongside her brother Andreas, Jessica quickly made headlines in the most important TCR championships around Europe: she made history and became the first female driver to claim a podium in TCR UK, when she finished second in Brands Hatch in 2018 and fourth in the championship standings.
2019 proved to be a crucial year for Bäckman, who opted for the bigger stage of the European-based TCR – also combining guest entries in the premier Scandinavian championship STCC and in the ADAC TCR Germany.
Despite her young age, Bäckman impressed in all the series and kept writing touring car history by securing podium finishes in every championship. She became the first woman to step on the rostrum in TCR Europe in Hockenheim and repeated the same result in the German national series; she was third in Anderstorp in TCR Scandinavia and ultimately established herself as one of the most promising TCR upcoming stars.
As part of the Swedish National Team – a driver development program promoted by the Sweidish national federation – Bäckman was entered in the first ever FIA Motorsport Games in Vallelunga, where she represented Sweden in the touring car class.
Her achievements also allowed the young driver to be selected for the Hyundai Motorsport Driver development program.
In 2020, Jessica Bäckman remained in TCR Europe with Italian team Target Competition. She often showed enough speed for the top positions, but had a mixed campaign marked by unfortunate accidents.
Nevertheless, Bäckman never hid her ambition of continuing her climb up the ladder of the TCR universe – the FIA World Touring Car Cup.
"One of my biggest goals in my career has been to compete against the best drivers in the world in WTCR" – Jessica said. "It feels unreal that I now can announce that I have reached that goal. That I am also the first woman ever is something I have always dreamed of and hope to inspire more women to both begin and continue with motorsport."
"I will give everything I can and look forward to the start of the season" – she concluded.
WTCR announced earlier this year the FIA Female Driver Title, subject to a minimum three full-season entries.
Michela Cerruti and Anett György were the latest female entries in the International TCR Series in 2017, while the late German racing star Sabine Schmitz was the last female point scorer in 2016, in the formerly named WTCC championship.
Bäckman will return to Target Competition together with her brother Andreas, who also steps up to the World Cup. They will be racing in the newest Hyundai challenger – the Elantra N TCR.
The championship will consist of five race meetings in Europe and three events in Asia: the season opener will be on one of the world's toughest race tracks – the 25 km long Nürburgring Nordschleife – and will have its finale at the equally challenging Guia Street circuit in Macau. Races will be broadcasted live on Eurosport.
2021 WTCR Calendar:
June 3rd-5th - Nürburgring Nordschleife, Germany
June 26th-27th - Vila Real, Portugal
July 10th-11th - Motorland Aragón, Spain
July 31st - August 1st - Adria, Italy
August 21st-22nd - Hungaroring, Hungary
October 16th-17th - Inje Speedium, South Korea
November 6th-7th - Ningbo, China
November 19th-21st - Circuito Da Guia, Macau