With the newly organised TCR Australia coming to us in a few months time, we decided to bug someone in Europe who strapped themselves into a TCR car for the first time in 2018.
Andreas Bäckman’s first seat in the TCR UK championship was in the West Coast Racing Golf GTi TCR and it wasn’t a performance to ignore. In his first race he finished 2nd, and throughout the season he managed 6 podiums, a pole position, and a win at Croft Circuit.
Before his blast onto the TCR scene Andreas could be seen whipping around the heavily popular Rallycross circuits in the 2017 RX2 Championship, a support series for the World Rallycross Championship. For the Australian’s with no exposure to the sport, Rallycross combines dirt and tarmac driving all into one small twisted track. According to Andreas he wanted to get into the sport for a new challenge, and moved over from Karting after 10 years. “It was a completely new experience, coming from Karting, as I had never been driving on gravel before as well as I had never driven a track with jumps and changing surfaces. It was a nice experience.”
After a season with mostly midfield finishes, and a best of 4th in the RX2 Championship, he ended his championship position in the middle of the pack in 10th. Whilst it was a promising season, considering he had never raced in Rallycross before that year, the move over to touring cars in 2018 was the best choice. “This felt for me as a more natural step from Karting, as it had the same kind of race distance and tracks like in Karting, just that it was a much bigger and heavier car on a bigger track.”
Success in TCR UK has paid off for Andreas, and he has managed to land a spot in the Target Competition team along with his sister Jessica, who is also making the move after a promising drive in 2018 with a best of 2nd at Brands Hatch for the year.
Andreas promises an exciting series for Australian fans with wheel to wheel racing, and plenty of action. “The TCR concept has proven to be very successful, as it’s very close between all the cars because of the regulations. I think it should give the spectators a very good show with some close race action. The races can sometimes be very unpredictable, which should be interesting for the spectators.”
All photos provided by A. Bäckman