Target Competition’s Andreas Bäckman claimed a maiden victory in race one of the TCR Europe series at Oschersleben, passing Dan Lloyd for the victory with two laps to go, having earlier lost the lead at the first corner.
The Magdeburger Börde presented itself in best shape, providing a sunny race. Despite the scene of rain, the TCR Europe spectators saw an eventful race.
Andreas Bäckman was unable to defend his lead through the first lap of the race. He was caught by the Honda Civic Type R of Daniel Lloyd, with the duo thereafter being closely followed by Nelson Panciatici and Tom Coronel.
Jessica Bäkman got hit by an opponent from behind on the first lap and went wide; following a spectacular drive on the edge of the gravel, she successfully managed to keep her car on track. Nevertheless, the save was followed by another incident with the damage to her car forcing her to retire her Hyundai.
Further down the field, Aurélien Comte and Jimmy Clairet who are both behind the steering wheel of a Peugeot 308, made contact with the Audi RS3 LMS of Gilles Magnus. The three drivers finishing their race early in retirement after the first lap incident.
Davit Kajaia (CUPRA TCR) was the reason for another clash, contacting Alex Morgan (CUPRA TCR) and Mat’o Homola (Hyundai i30). After investigations Kajaia received a drive-through penalty. The Georgian didn’t follow the rules by taking his penalty within three laps and was thus disqualified from the race with a black flag.
Taking the focus back to the front of the field, Lloyd made a mistake going wide in Turn Three with closely under two minutes left on the clock. Bäckman took his chance and overtook the Brit, followed by Panciatici who also made it past. As a result, Bäckman managed to take adavantage of his maiden pole also scoring his maiden TCR Europe race win.
“It was a really good race,” summarised Bäckman. “Despite suffering from a not so good start where Lloyd passed me, I tried to stay behind him, working out where he may have weak points.
“In the last couple of laps, he was struggling so I was able to close the gap and pass him in turn three. Towards the end my tyres lost some grip but it was still enough for the win.
“After being able to secure my first pole as well as race win, I am very pleased with today.”
The Swede was followed by Panciatici who finished second in front of Lloyd, Coronel and points leader Josh Files, who completed the top five.
Coming from GT racing, Dominik Baumann competed in his first TCR race behind the wheel of a Hyundai i30, finishing sixth.
“Obviously everything was new for me, beginning with the starting procedure,” said Baumann, “Hitting the correct position in my box on the starting grid is unusual for me.
“After the lights went off, I lost two positions but managed to get them back in the second corner. For the quarter of the race I was stuck behind Josh. As he is my team-mate, I didn’t aggressively race him.
“He also may have had a problem with the car. So the decision was to take it easy and stay behind. However, I really enjoyed it.
Talking about his expectations, he rated his first TCR race as “boring – but tomorrow I will get it back for sure. It was how I expected it.
“We need to keep an eye on the high tyre wear; tyre management is key point on this track. With my starting position tomorrow being better than today, I am looking forward to race again”, he told TouringCars.Net.
The TCR Europe series will return to action at 13:30 CEST [12:30 BST] on Sunday for race two.
UPDATE – Andreas Bäckman was later excluded from the result for failing a post-race technical check, when his car was found to exceed the maximum width of 1,950 mm. Nelson Panciatici was also handed a post-race 30-second penalty for contact with Jessica Bäckman at the start, giving victory to Dan Lloyd.
Original race result (subsequently amended)
|1||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||24:56.549||1:32.743||1|
|2||12||Nelson PANCIATICI||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||1.795||1:32.673||4|
|3||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||16||3.693||1:32.692||2|
|4||50||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||16||4.503||1:32.904||7|
|5||9||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||14.675||1:33.277||9|
|6||58||Dominik BAUMANN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||15.047||1:33.341||6|
|7||45||Gianni MORBIDELLI||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||17.480||1:33.485||11|
|8||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||23.011||1:33.336||13|
|9||30||Luca FILIPPI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||28.789||1:33.345||14|
|10||67||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||M1RA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||29.320||1:33.418||21|
|11||88||Maxime POTTY||Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||31.019||1:33.804||19|
|12||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||16||33.207||1:33.968||22|
|13||111||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||16||33.495||1:33.334||24|
|14||46||Olli KANGAS||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||33.798||1:33.899||23|
|15||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||16||34.148||1:33.795||28|
|16||55||Santiago URRUTIA||Team WRT||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||34.520||1:33.303||3|
|17||96||Abdulla Ali AL-KHELAIFI||QMMF Racing by PCR Sport||CUPRA TCR||16||42.932||1:34.264||25|
|18||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKY||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||16||43.142||1:33.194||17|
|19||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||16||52.763||1:35.034||27|
|R||3||Davit KAJAIA||PCR Sport with Georgia||CUPRA TCR||11||DNF||1:33.596||18|
|R||23||Tamás TENKE||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||11||DNF||1:33.695||26|
|R||8||Luca ENGSTLER||M1RA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||DNF||1:33.340||12|
|R||5||Alex MORGAN||Wolf-Power Racing||CUPRA TCR||7||DNF||1:33.457||10|
|R||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||4||DNF||1:34.332||5|
|R||25||Natan BIHEL||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1||DNF||N/A||15|
|R||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||0||DNF||N/A||8|
|R||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||16|
|R||112||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||20|