Polestar Cyan Racing claim World Championship lead in Morocco season opener

Polestar Cyan Racing has claimed the World Championship lead of the FIA WTCC manufacturers’ championship after claiming a maiden MAC3 victory at the season opener in Morocco, beating main rivals Honda in their first attempt.

”We are very happy to lead a World Championship for the first time ever for Volvo, Polestar and Cyan Racing. We managed to beat Honda in MAC3 and we were really close to them in qualifying, everyone in the team can be really proud over themselves to accomplish this in Marrakech, not one of our strongest circuits,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.

The star of qualifying for Polestar Cyan Racing was Néstor Girolami who was second fastest in the Q3 session of qualifying, just two tenths of a second from pole position despite never before having raced at the Circuit Moulay El Hassan.

”This is a dream start for me to claim second on the grid for the main race and win MAC3 with my team-mates. This is my first time in Marrakech and I took it easy in free practice and pushed hard in qualifying. We expect more for tomorrow and I am so happy for everyone in the team who has worked so hard for this,” said Néstor Girolami.

Nicky Catsburg showed impressive form as well by being second fastest in Q1 but was disturbed by a mistake in Q2 that dropped him to sixth position, a mere tenth of a second from making it to Q3.

”I made a mistake that put me a bit off course in Q2 unfortunately. But I was really happy with my speed in Q1 and especially with our joint MAC3 victory. We have shown that we can compete with the best in Marrakech and if we can do it at this circuit, we can do it everywhere,” said Nicky Catsburg.

Thed Björk was seventh fastest in Q2 and unfortunately had to abort his last lap in that session due to a mistake coming into the hairpin.

”I am not happy with the result for me personally, but what I am happy with is the performance from the car and our MAC3 victory. The season has so far started really promising for us and I can’t wait for tomorrow,” said Thed Björk.

The qualifying day include a MAC3 session where three cars from each manufacturer competes against the clock, meaning the three Polestar Cyan Racing drivers Thed Björk, Néstor Girolami and Nicky Catsburg setting a joint lap time for two laps around the Marrakech circuit.

Next up for Polestar Cyan Racing and the WTCC field is the opening race tomorrow at 17:35 CET, follow us live at: live.polestar.com

WTCC Race of Morocco
Circuit: Circuit Moulay El Hassan
Length: 2971 m
Lap record (WTCC): 1:23.087 (Valente)

Results
Q1 – Top 5
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 1:22.161
2 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +0.110
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic +0.301
4 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.440
5 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +0.543

6 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.559

Q2 – Top 5
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 1:21.822
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.137
3 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +0.253
4 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +0.714
5 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.746

6 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +0.870
7 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.975

Q3
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 1:21.792
2 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +0.239
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.305
4 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.517
5 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +0.620

MAC3
1 Polestar Cyan Racing 2:51.926
2 Honda Racing Team +0.731

Championship Standings
Drivers’
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 5 pts
2 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 4 (-1)
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 3 (-2)
4 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée 2 (-3)
5 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée 1 (-4)

Manufacturers’
1 Volvo 18 pts
2 Honda 16 (-2)

Schedule
(Times in CET)
Saturday 8/4
10:00 Free Practice 1 (45 min)
12:45 Free Practice 2 (45 min)
16:15 Qualifying
17:30 MAC3

Sunday 9/4
17:35 Race 1 (18 laps)
18:45 Race 2 (21 laps)

TV Schedule
https://www.fiawtcc.com/watch-it-on-tv/
http://www.eurosportplayer.com

2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship Entry List
No – Driver – Team – Car
3 – Tom Chilton – GBR – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
5 – Norbert Michelisz – HUN – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
8 – Aurélien Panis – FRA – Zengő Motorsport – Honda Civic WTCC
9 – Tom Coronel – NED – ROAL Motorsport – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
12 – Rob Huff – GBR – Münnich Motorsport – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
18 – Tiago Monteiro – POR – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
25 – Mehdi Bennani – MOR – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
27 – John Filippi – FRA – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
34 – Ryo Michigami – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
61 – Néstor Girolami – ARG – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
62 – Thed Björk – SWE – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
63 – Nicky Catsburg – NED – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
68 – Yann Ehrlacher – FRA – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta WTCC
86 – Esteban Guerrieri – ARG – Campos Racing – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
99 – Daniel Nagy – HUN – Zengő Motorsport – Honda Civic WTCC
TBC – TBC – TBC – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta WTCC

FIA World Touring Car Championship 2017 Calendar
WTCC Race of Morocco (Marrakech): 7-9 April S
WTCC Race of Italy (Monza): 28-30 April 2017
WTCC Race of Hungary (Hungaroring): 12-14 May
WTCC Race of Germany (Nürburgring Nordschleife): 25-27 May
WTCC Race of Portugal (Vila Real): 23-25 June S
WTCC Race of Argentina (Termas de Río Hondo): 15-16 July
WTCC Race of China (Shanghai Ningbo Circuit): 13-15 October
WTCC Race of Japan (Twin Ring Motegi): 27-29 October
WTCC Race of Macau (Circuit de Guia): 17-19 November S
WTCC Race of Qatar (Losail International Circuit): 30 November-1 December N

S = Street race
N = Night Race

Contact Details
Johan Meissner, Press Manager
johan.meissner@polestar.com
+46(0)70 241 3234

About Polestar
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 was founded as a motorsport team in 1996 and has been successful in numerous championships. The company is owned by Christian Dahl and handles all motorsport operations of Polestar. Cyan Racing, formerly named Polestar Racing, has claimed seven STCC drivers’ titles and eight STCC teams’ titles with the Volvo 850, S40, C30 and S60.