Thed Björk claimed his, Polestar Cyan Racing and Volvo Cars' maiden FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) victory at Shanghai International Raceway today. The victory made this weekend historic for the team, with Richard Göransson securing the fourth consecutive double Scandinavian Touring Car Championship title yesterday.
”What a race and what a victory! This is such an awesome feeling after all the blood, sweat and tears the team has put down this year. I rank this victory as one of the best in my entire career,” said Thed Björk.
Björk started sixth and fought his way up through the field, setting the fastest lap of the race to catch race leader Norbert Michelisz with three laps left. The two started a furious fight for the lead, with Björk passing him in the penultimate corner of the very last lap.
The duo made contact in the overtaking manoeuvre, resulting in a broken suspension for Björk who still managed to claim his, Volvo’s and the team’s first ever world championship victory.
”I was much faster than Norbi who did a really good job defending. We made some contact but I was determined to get past and I made it work. The feeling to win the race after such an intense end to it is indescribable,” said Thed Björk.
Team-mate Fredrik Ekblom made a strong return to the championship after focussing on the testing programme of Polestar Cyan Racing since the races in Russia in June. The three-time STCC champion finished in the points of both races, with eighth in the first race and sixth in the second.
”This has been a good weekend, both for me personally and especially for Thed and the entire team with our first victory. It was rewarding to see the progress that has been made and although there of course is a lot of work left for us, this is a great receipt of that we are heading in the right direction,” said Fredrik Ekblom.
The victory has elevated Björk to eleventh position in the championship, just 20 points from breaking into the top ten.
”This has been an amazing weekend with a fantastic race and a fantastic first victory for Thed, us and Volvo Cars. We have had many guests and commercial activities connected to this race, so to be able to deliver a win here is of course special for us. This victory is also an important morale booster as we have a lot of work ahead of us to be frequent in the top of the championship next year and beyond,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Next up for Polestar Cyan Racing is the season finale in Qatar on November 23-25.
WTCC Race of China
Circuit: Shanghai International Circuit
Length: 4630 m
Lap record (WTCC): 1:50.833 (Hua)
Race 1 - Top 5
1 Thed Björk Volvo S60 16 laps
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.361
3 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée +0.528
4 José María López Citroën C-Elysée +2.215
5 Nicky Catsburg Lada Vesta +2.315
8 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 +12.151
Race 2 – Top 5
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 15 laps
2 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée +11.037
3 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +12.742
4 Nicky Catsburg Lada Vesta +13.205
5 Gabriele Tarquini Lada Vesta +15.715
6 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 +18.176
7 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +18.516
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
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 361 points
2 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée 235 (-126)
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 204 (-157)
4 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 190 (-171)
5 Rob Huff Honda Civic 180 (-181)
11 Thed Björk Volvo S60 89 (-272)
13 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 45 (-316)
15 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 12 (-349)
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.