Jessica Bäckman doubles up at Red Bull Ring after Hondas collide
Jessica Bäckman completed a clean sweep of victories at the Red Bull Ring to move into the lead of the TCR Germany standings following a dramatic second race of the weekend.
The ROJA Motorsport Hyundai driver made the most of contact between the Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-Rs of Martin Andersen and Szymon Ladniak, and a mechanical issue for pole-sitter Jonas Karklys to repeat her Race 1 win from Saturday.
Jahr made it a ROJA one-two in second, while Andersen survived a second collision with Ladniak to complete the podium in third.
From pole, Karklys leapt off the line and led the way into the first corner as the pair of Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-Rs of Szymon Ladniak and Martin Andersen disputed second.
Behind, Jessica Bäckman occupied fourth place ahead of her ROJA Motorsport team-mate Robin Jahr, with the two Hyundai Velosters doing battle throughout the opening four laps.
As Karklys built up a margin of over two seconds, the quartet behind began to close up even further, with Jahr getting ahead of Bäckman for fourth on the fifth lap.
The Velosters were able to keep in touch with the Engstler team-mates in front of them, and all four were lapping within two-tenths of each other, meaning no one car had a significant advantage.
The battle for second then became the lead scrap as Karklys sensationally slowed with a problem approaching turn five on the ninth lap. The NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR suddenly lost speed and pulled into the pits. The team got the car going again but Karklys finished a lap down in 10th at the flag.
Ladniak, therefore, was promoted to the head of the field with Andersen just under half a second in arears. Bäckman and Jahr made it a four-way fight for the win.
After two laps of defending heavily against Bäckman, Andersen then tried to dive down the inside of Ladniak at Turn 3, but Bäckman got alongside the Honda on the exit and run towards Turn 4 as the leading quartet bunched up even more.
Bäckman was the fastest driver on the track and was all over the back of Andersen’s car entering the final six minutes of the race.
The lead battle finally came to a head with just over two minutes remaining as Andersen, almost forced into an overtake on Ladniak, made a lunge down the inside of Turn 4 to snatch the lead. Contact was made between the two was made, with race stewards ordering Andersen to fall behind Ladniak.
The problem for Andersen was that both Bäckman and Jahr had also passed Ladniak, meaning Andersen dropped to fourth by the finish.
Bäckman therefore came home to record her second victory of the weekend ahead of team-mate Jahr. Ladniak and Andersen went toe-to-toe again on the final lap, with a second banging of doors at the penultimate corner resulting in Andersen taking the place.
The next round of the 2022 TCR Germany season takes place on the weekend of 17-19 June at the Salzburgring.