The first woman on the podium in TCR Europe and the only Swede selected for the motorsport Olympics. This year’s Bodensare Jessica Bäckman, 22, is a winner without equal.

Congratulations to the title Bodensare of the Year that you received at Boden’s Business Gala! How does it feel?

– It feels very good. I actually did not think I would win, it’s a bit indescribable. It was very fun, especially when it is the people who have voted. That makes it a little extra special.

What does it mean to you to have the support of the people of Boden?

– It means a lot, especially when I come from here and that the whole city likes what I do and appreciates how well it went for me as much as I do, I think it’s cool.

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What is the best thing about Boden?

– There is a lot of good with Boden but it feels like everyone is close to each other. I think that’s nice. You share and everyone appreciates when someone does something good and everyone helps each other.

How do you describe TCR, touring car racing, for those who do not know it?

– Most people know what STCC is, so I usually say that it is STCC I drive, even though it is in the European series. No matter where on earth I drive, it’s the same cars and the same regulations. I drive on Formula 1 tracks and people usually recognize that too.

What do you like the most with that?

– There are many categories in motorsport and we actually took TCR because it is not so many steps until you get to the highest level, compared to Formula Cars for example. In TCR I am already in the European Championships and have only one step to the World Cup. I have been driving go-karts for many years and the driving style is very similar so I have probably gotten a lot from the go-karts.

How would you sum up the past season?

– It has been the best season in racing. I have had many good seasons in go-karting but now in racing I am still new as I have only ridden two seasons and that I have already taken so many successes makes it extra big. It has been an indescribably good year.

What are your most memorable experiences?

– That was probably when I came third in the European series and wrote history. There were around 40 drivers in the competition and I came on the podium as the first woman ever. It was very powerful. Even when I was told that I would run the FIA, the Olympic competition, was also awesome. I was the only one from Sweden in the TCR class and to be able to drive in Sweden overalls and Sweden cars and carry the flag, it was very powerful.

What is it like to break new ground in a male-dominated sport?

– There are not that many women who drive at all, in the European Championships it is me and two others. It has been very tough to meet the guys when I was new and unknown because it was not so appreciated but when you show that you can you get more respect.

What is it that drives you forward?

– I think it’s so much fun. This has been the case since I started go-karting when I was eight, driving has been my driving force in school, in fitness training and during the preparations. It is the joy of the sport that does it.

What are you up to this spring?

– The season starts at the end of April. Then Andreas (big brother) and I will make a jump in the World Cup in Hungary the first thing we do. Then we continue and drive the European Championship series as last year with the same team and the same cars.

Where will we see you in five years?

– My dream is that I will be able to live on motorsport and become a paid driver so that I can only compete. It would have been a dream to do it in the World Cup but it is very tough to get there so we will see. Then I also want to win the World Cup, but first I have to get there. #

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Jessica Bäckman / 22 years.
Lives / Northern Svartbyn. Family / Mother Ingela, father Thomas, big brother Andreas.
Do / Run TCR and study for a master’s degree in economics at LTU.
Interests / Likes to train and watch cross-country skiing and sports on TV, otherwise it’s just motorsports.

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