Thed Björk broke into the top five of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) qualifying session at Shanghai International Raceway, with team-mate Fredrik Ekblom in seventh position making it the best qualifying result so far for Polestar Cyan Racing.
Björk was third fastest in Q2, making it to the final Q3 session for the second time this year where he finished fifth.
”This is further underlining our progress in the recent months and I am proud for everyone in the team that we made it to Q3. There is of course always room for improvement to catch up with the top, but I think we are in for a strong run tomorrow,” said Thed Björk.
Ekblom made a solid return in his first qualifying session since Moscow Raceway in June this year, finishing third fastest in Q1 and seventh fastest in Q2.
”I am glad for this result, especially as this is my first race in three months and I have started to work with a new engineer alongside my chief engineer on the car. The car felt good and I am excited for the races tomorrow where I hope to make progress,” said Fredrik Ekblom.
The reversed grid rule for the first race means that Ekblom will start fourth and Björk sixth, while the second race will have them starting from grid positions five and seven respectively.
”We are pleased by getting one car into Q3, but we felt there was more to give today. Overall though, we are on the right way and we look forward to the races,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Follow the team during the two races at Shanghai International Raceway tomorrow at: http://wtcc.polestar.com
WTCC Race of China
Circuit: Shanghai International Circuit
Length: 4630 m
Lap record (WTCC): 1:50.833 (Hua)
Q1 – Top 5
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 1:50.279
2 Nicky Catsburg Lada Vesta +0.126
3 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 +0.253
4 Gabriele Tarquini Lada Vesta +0.355
5 Tom Chilton Citroën C-Elysée +0.482
10 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.791
Q2 – Top 5
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 1:49.409
2 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +0.585
3 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.640
4 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée +0.724
5 Nicky Catsburg Lada Vesta +0.786
7 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 +0.915
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 1:49.339
2 Nicky Catsburg Lada Vesta +0.161
3 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée +0.572
4 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +0.605
5 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +1.338
(Times in CET)
08:35 Race 1 (14 laps)
09:50 Race 2 (15 laps)
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 324 points
2 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée 202 (-122)
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 199 (-125)
4 Rob Huff Honda Civic 178 (-146)
5 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 172 (-152)
12 Thed Björk Volvo S60 56 (-268)
13 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 35 (-289)
15 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 12 (-312)
2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship Entry List
No – Driver – Team – Car
2 – Gabriele Tarquini – Lada Sport Rosneft – Lada Vesta WTCC
3 – Tom Chilton – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
5 – Norbert Michelisz – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
7 – Hugo Valente – Lada Sport Rosneft – Lada Vesta WTCC
9 – Tom Coronel – ROAL Motorsport – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
10 – Nicky Catsburg – Lada Sport Rosneft – Lada Vesta WTCC
11 – Grégoire Demoustier – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée
12 – Rob Huff – Honda World Touring Car Team – Honda Civic WTCC
18 – Tiago Monteiro – Honda World Touring Car Team – Honda Civic
25 – Mehdi Bennani – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
27 – John Filippi – Campos Racing – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
37 – José María López – Citroën Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
55 – Ferenc Ficza – Zengo Motorsport – Honda Civic WTCC
61 – Fredrik Ekblom – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
62 – Thed Björk – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
68 – Yvan Muller – Citroën Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
77 – James Thompson – Münnich Motorsport – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
99 – Dániel Nagy – Zengo Motorsport – Honda Civic WTCC
FIA World Touring Car Championship 2016 Calendar
1-3 April FIA WTCC Race of France (Circuit Paul Ricard)
15-17 April FIA WTCC Race of Slovakia (Slovakia Ring)
22-24 April FIA WTCC Race of Hungary (Hungaroring)
7-8 May FIA WTCC Race of Morocco (Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech) S
26-28 May FIA WTCC Race of Germany (Nürburgring Nordschleife)
10-12 June FIA WTCC Race of Russia (Moscow Raceway)
24-26 June FIA WTCC Race of Portugal (Circuit de Vila Real) S
5-7 August FIA WTCC Race of Argentina (Circ. Termas de Río Hondo)
2-4 September FIA WTCC Race of Japan (Twin Ring Motegi)
23-25 September FIA WTCC Race of China (Shanghai Int. Circuit)
4-6 November FIA WTCC Race of Thailand (Chang International Circuit)
23-25 November FIA WTCC Race of Qatar (Losail International Circuit) N
S = Street race
N = Night Race
Polestar is the performance brand of Volvo Cars. The company was founded as a motorsport team in 1996 and has been successful in numerous championships, racing with various Volvo models. In 2009, Polestar started to offer performance related products and thereby intensified the business relations with Volvo Cars. The first performance cars, based on Volvo’s S60 and V60, were launched in 2014.
In 2015, Volvo Cars acquired the performance unit of Polestar, as a strong commitment towards a credible performance offer and with the mission to define future premium performance.
About Cyan Racing
Cyan Racing is the motorsport partner to Polestar. The company is owned by Christian Dahl and handles all motorsport operations of Polestar. Cyan Racing, formerly named Polestar Racing, has claimed six STCC drivers’ titles and eight STCC teams’ titles with the Volvo 850, S40, C30 and S60.