Jessica Bäckman scores lights-to-flag win at the Red Bull Ring

ROJA Motorsport’s Jessica Bäckman won the opening TCR Germany race at the Red Bull Ring from pole position, even though she had earlier been served with a five-second time penalty for a false start.

Swede Bäckman had inherited the best starting position after Jonas Karklys, the fastest in qualifying, had to start from the back of the grid due to an engine change.

At the start, Bäckman moved into a strong lead but was almost immediately being investigated for having jumped the start, and she was soon handed a five-second penalty for the misdemeanour.

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However, with the knowledge that she needed to push in order to hold on to the win, Bäckman soon began to eke out an advantage over the chasing Liqui Moly team Engstler Honda of Szymon Ładniak.

Bäckman’s drive to victory was aided by the fact that team-mate Robin Jahr soon began to pressure Ładniak for second.

That allowed Bäckman to extend a seven second lead which was enough for her to claim her second win of the season, moving her to just nine points behind series leader Martin Andersen ahead of Sunday’s second race.

Ładniak held on to take second, whilst the podium was completed by Andersen after an intense final few laps.

The Dane only claimed the final spot on the rostrum after Jahr went wide at the first corner of the last lap, allowing Andersen into third.

The matter was compounded for Jahr at the next corner, as Patrick Sing squeezed his Hyundai i30 inside at Turn 3.

Karklys, who had been up to sixth by the end of the opening lap, then claimed fifth past Jahr on the final lap, the Lithuanian driver finding his progress had been much more difficult after the first lap of racing.

Jahr thus took the chequered flag in sixth, ahead of the leading Audi of Max Gruhn in seventh and René Kircher’s Hyundai in eighth.

Qualifying for race two is at 09:15 CEST (08:15 BST) on Sunday, followed by race two at 15:35 CEST (14:35 BST).

Race results

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 20 33:07.445 1:38.229 1
2 21 Szymon ŁADNIAK Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 20 2.634 1:38.385 2
3 19 Martin ANDERSEN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 20 8.346 1:38.403 3
4 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 20 9.310 1:38.486 7
5 27 Jonas KARKLYS NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR 20 9.728 1:38.392 12
6 22 Robin JAHR ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 20 12.525 1:38.251 4
7 13 Max GRUHN Gruhn Stahlbau Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 20 12.680 1:38.603 6
8 8 René KIRCHER ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 20 13.302 1:38.327 11
9 9 Roland HERTNER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 20 27.518 1:39.074 8
10 38 Kai ROSOWSKI K-Ro Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 20 1:31.375 1:42.200 9
11 17 Michael MAURER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 19 + 1 LAP 1:44.662 10
R 11 Vincent RADERMECKER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 11 DNF 1:39.171 5
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