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Andreas Bäckman eases to maiden TCR UK win at Croft

WestCoast Racing’s Andreas Bäckman scored a first-ever win in the TCR UK series at Croft, as Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor held off a charge from championship leader Dan Lloyd.

Bäckman made the most of his pole position to hold on to the lead through the first sequence of turns, whilst behind him Taylor never presented a threat in his newer-spec Honda, allowing the Swede in the FK2-spec Civic to pull away at the front.

Further back, Lloyd made a strong start from eighth and last on the grid to move into fifth before the first corner, with the Volkswagen Golf driver then getting past Finlay Crocker’s Honda for fourth further around the lap.

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Lloyd spent the next four laps pressuring the back of Stewart Lines’ CUPRA for third, with the two who made contact in the last round at Oulton Park once again being involved in an incident at Croft.

Lloyd moved to the inside at Tower bend on lap five and contact was made with Lines’ car, sending the Maximum Motorsport driver off into the field as Lloyd continued undamaged.

Lines’ strong defending had allowed the leading duo to escape from the pack behind, and Lloyd then sought to reduce the near three-second gap to Taylor over the next four laps.

By lap ten Lloyd was on the rear bumper of his title rival, and the duo then spent the rest of the race scrapping for the runner-up position, with Bäckman enjoying a lead of over five seconds by this stage.

In the end Taylor held on to finish ahead of his rival in second, despite the best efforts of the WestCoast Racing driver on the 11th lap when he got an overlap after a cutback at the final corner.

Behind the podium finishers, Verizon Connect Racing’s Finlay Crocker scored his best-ever TCR UK result in fourth, ahead of the second WestCoast Volkswagen of Jessica Bäckman in fifth.

Lewis Kent and Lines finished a lap down after both made pitstops for checks, with Kent claiming that he was on the receiving end of contact from DW Racing’s Darelle Wilson on the second lap, with the latter ultimately retiring from the race.

By finishing just behind Taylor, Lloyd limits the loss of championship points and he heads into race two with a margin of 71 points, with Lloyd requiring a 92-point lead to wrap up the title this weekend.

Race two gets underway at 15:15 BST.

Race result

1 19 Andreas BÄCKMAN WestCoast Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR 14 20:43.676 1:26.989 1
2 32 Oliver TAYLOR Pyro Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 14 7.834 1:27.498 2
3 23 Dan LLOYD WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 8.405 1:27.293 8
4 8 Finlay CROCKER Verizon Connect Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 14 12.405 1:27.549 5
5 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 12.947 1:27.701 4
6 38 Lewis KENT Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 + 1 LAP 1:29.683 6
7 95 Stewart LINES Maximum Motorsport CUPRA TCR V3 DSG 13 + 1 LAP 1:27.682 3
R 50 Darelle WILSON DW Racing Vauxhall Astra TCR 1 DNF 1:40.598 7
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