Andreas Bäckman converted his pole position into his maiden TCR Europe victory in Oschersleben’s first race. After proving the fastest in the morning’s Qualifying, the young Swedish proved the smartest in the race. Having been pipped at the start by Daniel Lloyd he didn’t panic and followed the Briton closely, putting the pressure on him in every corner. Eventually this pressure forced Lloyd to make a slight mistake with only two laps to go; Bäckman was ready to grab the occasion and muscled his way through to take the leadership.
Nelson Panciatici, who had followed the two leaders closely, waiting for an opportunity, benefitted from the situation and moved up into second, while Lloyd managed to salvage the third position ahead of Tom Coronel.
As far as the title fight is concerned, Josh Files collected a precious fifth place ahead of his new teammate and Touring Car rookie Dominik Baumann. With local hero Luca Engstler eliminated in the multiple collision of the first lap, Files has stretched his leading margin to 48 points ahead of Bäckman who has moved into second place, while Julien Briché is still third, a further nine points adrift.
The second race will start tomorrow at 13:30 with Alex Morgan and Josh Files sharing the front row of the top-ten reverse grid; live streaming at www.tcr-series.comand www.tcr-series.tv.
Grid – Magnus is dropped by three positions, from 5th to 8th because of the penalty he was given for the incident with Lloyd in the second race at the Red Bull Ring; Urrutia starts from the pit lane as the team had to fix a broken radiator
Start – Lloyd beats A. Bäckman into T1, while Panciatici punts J. Bäckman into a spin
Lap 1 – A multiple collision eliminates Engstler, Comte, Bihel and J. Clairet; J. Bäckman and Davidovski are also involved but rejoin
Lap 3 – Magnus slows after making contact with another car and then pulls over
Lap 4 – J. Bäckman pits and retires
Lap 5 – A. Bäckman chases Lloyd but can’t find a gap to pass
Lap 6 – Morbidelli overtakes Homola for eighth
Lap 7 – Morgan and Filippi make contact at the last turn; Kajaia punts Morgan into a spin
Lap 8 – Szabó overtakes Kajaia for tenth
Lap 9 – Kajaia overtakes Filippi for ninth, but is given a drive-through for the collision with Morgan
Lap 11 – Kajaia is shown the black flag for not serving the penalty
Lap 12 – A. Bäckman is stuck to Lloyd’s rear bumper; Panciatici follows closely in third position
Lap 13 – Loyd’s leading margin is down to 0.160 seconds
Lap 14 – Lloyds closes the gap at T1, but A. Bäckman muscles his way through at T3 and Lloyd loses also the second place to Panciatici
Lap 16 – A. Bäckman wins from Panciatici, Lloyd, Coronel, Files and Baumann
1. Andreas Bäckman (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N), 16 laps
2. Nelson Panciatici (M Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 1.795
3. Daniel Lloyd (Brutal Fish Racing Team, Honda Civic FK7), 3.693
4. Tom Coronel (Boutsen-Gionion Racing, Honda Civic FK7), 4.503
5. Josh Files (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N), 14.675
1. Files 218; 2. A. Bäckman 170; 3. Briché 161