Meet Jessica Bäckman
Jessica Bäckman started at a karting school when she was seven years old, but had to wait for two more years before she was old enough to take her license. In 2006, she made her debut in the North Swedish Championship, and continued to compete in Stockholm as well as in the south of Sweden and internationally. In 2014–2015, she started to drive for the Italian factory team Kosmic, in a series similar to the Formula 1 of Karting. It brought tough and hard races that provided a very good training for the future.
– It was overwhelming and new at first, but after a while I felt more at home at the international tracks than the Swedish ones. I spent more time travelling than being at home, Jessica says.
In 2017 Jessica, just like her brother Andreas, started with rallycross, a sport which has gained a lot of respect in the world of racing and the media coverage.
– It was a great challenge to drive on gravel, with a larger car, an all-new turn technique and significantly shorter races.
In 2018, Jessica competed in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship STCC, as well as the British counterpart TCR UK. There, Jessica can lean safely against her experiences of both karting and rallycross. Although a touring car weighs more than the previous cars she has driven, the driving technique is more similar to karting. In other words, international karting is probably the best possible school for a TCR-racing career.
– In my debut at Silverstone, beginning of 2018, everything was new and different compared to my earlier experiences and it was therefore a good experience. For example, I had never tried a standing start before.
In 2019, there will be many new changes in Jessica’s career, which will mean a new car, new brand, new team and new championship. Jessica will compete in the TCR Europe championship driving an Hyundai i30 N TCR car for the successful team Target Competition.
– I look forward to the 2019 season, so incredibly happy to get this opportunity after only one year in racing. I have already had a little taste of the TCR Europe series, since I finished the 2018 season by competing in the final round of TCR Europe in Barcelona, and I clearly felt that it was a championship to aim for. I’m also looking forward to work with a new team, Target Competition and drive the Hyundai TCR car. It will be an interesting year!
What is the most fun part about TCR Europe?
– Ever since I first started with gokart in 2006, I have always preferred to compete internationally instead of in Sweden. Racing in Europe is something extra, everything is much bigger, more cars, more people and other environments. It’s prestigious but also fascinating with all the media and people that shows interest. The European competition has a good reputation in media.
Describe your racing skills.
– My strength is that I truly enjoy to race, which means that if I see a gap, then I’m going for it. I’m also good at staying calm even when it doesn’t turn out as I had imagined sometimes.
What are your expectations for team Target Competition in 2019?
– It will be super exciting, they have impressing merits behind them. For example, they have won both the driver- and team championship in TCR International and TCR Germany and also won the team championship in TCR Europe. In other words, they know how to work as a team and it will be interesting to work with them and develop as a driver and team in general.
What is your goal in the future?
– This year, I want to get into top 10 overall in the TCR Europe driver championship. This by qualify to many Q2 during the year and to be there to compete against the best start positions for the races, which I noticed is the key to success during 2018. If I reach a podium position during the year then it will be like extra credit. The goal for 2020, is to compete for top 3 in the TCR Europe championship so that I can reach the world elite in TCR 2021, by doing the World Touring Car Championship WTCR.