Photo: TCR Europe

Andreas Bäckman left to rue tyre choice despite strong result

Target Competition’s Andreas Bäckman says that a dry second TCR Europe race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps will unlock more speed from his Hyundai i30 N TCR despite finishing a strong fourth in Race 1.

The Swede finished where he qualified but was left relatively rueful as his combination of slicks and wets, a tactic used by race-winner Mikel Azcona, failed to give him as much confidence as he would have liked.

Speaking to TouringCarTimes, Bäckman said: “I didn’t have a good start as it was very slippery but I managed to get some more heat into the tyres when the safety car came out.

“We were on slicks on the front and wets on the rear, but it was very difficult to control the car.

“I tried to follow Filippi and Mike when I got more temperature and then they started fighting more but it was difficult to know how much you could push.

“Near the end, I could a bit more confidence and got passed John, which was nice.”

Bäckman also lamented the wet weather in general, stating that his Hyundai i30 N TCR was better suited to the dry track conditions he experienced in Thursday’s first practice session.

Should the rain disappear for Saturday’s second race, Bäckman is confident he can challenge for the podium.

“The wet set-up didn’t really suit our car, the pace was not so good so we struggled,” Bäckman said.

“Hopefully it is dry tomorrow and we can do a bit better. We can still find some more speed in the car, but for sure the dry conditions are more beneficial to us.

“Today, I had to drive a bit more carefully because we were close to the front, Mikel probably could take a few more risks because he started further back, but if it’s dry tomorrow, it should be fine.”