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.
Jessica entered 2019 with both a new car, a new team and a new championship and she ended up reaching no less than three podium finishes during the season. She also got the chance to represent Sweden in the Olympics of Motorsport, FIA Motorsport Games, where she finished on a well- deserved sixth place.
– 2019 was a very good year for me. I never thought I would be able to fight for the top positions against the best drivers in the world already in my second year in racing.
In 2021 Jessica drove in the biggest and toughest championship in TCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup. Jessica became the first women to race in the championship and also the first women to bring home World Cup points.
– 2021 was a special year for me, I have always had a goal to race in the FIA WTCR, and to reach the goal feels amazing. We had problems with the settings of the car which meant we couldn't show our full potential as racing drivers.
2022 was one of Jessica's best years in motorsport. Jessica finished silver in ADAC GT4 Germany with 4 wins, 9 podiums despite a year of many setbacks. Jessica is thus the most successful female driver in the championship's history.
– 2022 was a great year, super fun when the results come. Despite many setbacks, I managed to drive home a silver in the German championship and many experiences richer.
In 2023, Jessica will leave TCR and start competing in GT4, which means different cars, different driving style and different race formats. There are twice as long races where a mandatory driver change is made after half the race. Jessica will compete together with her brother Andreas Bäckman.
– 2023 will be a very exciting year. We have a lot to learn, but it is very fun to compete together with Andreas, we are very evenly quick and learn a lot from each other, I am convinced that we will go far in our first year on new ground.
What is the most fun part about GT4 Europe?
– Ever since I first started with gokart in 2006, I have always preferred to compete internationally instead of in Sweden. International racing 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 is your goal in the future?
– The goal for 2023 is to watch and learn, and to be in the fight for the top positions at the end of the season. Taking a win together with Andreas would be a childhood dream. The goal for the future is to become a professional racing driver and do racing as a living.