Andreas Bäckman is aiming to take his first win in the TCR UK Series on Sunday, after the Swede secured his first pole position on Saturday in drying conditions at Croft.
Bäckman changed to a Honda Civic before the event due to WestCoast Racing’s commitments to run a car in Scandinavia for Fredrik Ekblom, leaving him with a new car to learn as well as a new track.
But the 22-year-old Swede quickly got up to pace with the Sean Walkinshaw Racing-owned car and made the most of a drying circuit late on Saturday to claim pole position by a comfortable half-second margin over Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor.
“I’m very pleased; I didn’t really expect that because in the practice sessions I wasn’t one of the fastest drivers,” said Bäckman. “I knew that on the last lap everyone on the track would be at their best, so I had to get everything together in one lap.
“In all three sectors I got my best time in the end, and that was enough for pole, so I am really pleased to get everything together and maximise everything.
“I heard that there was one minute to go and so I knew it was my last lap, so I just gave it everything in all three sectors.
“I didn’t really think about being the last across the timing line, because I knew that everyone was going to get their best time at the end.
“The thing I thought about the most was getting all three sectors together in the end to get a good overall lap.
“The team made the call to change to slicks, but I thought it was still too wet for them, but I kept running with slicks until the end to get more and more heat in the tyres.”
Bäckman believes that he can fight for victory in Sunday’s races, where he will also start from fifth for the reverse-grid second encounter due to his second-best lap time being fourth quickest.
He also says that if title contending team-mate Dan Lloyd catches up to him in either race that he will not yield without a fight, with there being no team orders at WestCoast Racing.
“I think we have good pace in the dry and in the wet I have been struggling a bit today. The goal is definitely to win tomorrow!
“We don’t use any team orders in the team, so I’ll just do my own race and if he [Lloyd] is behind me then it’s his job to pass me, it’s not my thing to worry about.”