The FIA World Touring Car Championship is back this weekend with the WTCC Race of China in which Thed Björk, currently second in the championship, claimed Polestar Cyan Racing’s maiden WTCC victory last year. The team is aiming to reclaim a double championship lead.
”There is only one target for me this weekend. I am aiming to win again, especially as we are in a much stronger position this season compared to when I won last year in China. The car has never been better and while this is the closest title fight in many years, I think we will be hard to beat for the remainder of the season,” said Thed Björk.
The four-time Swedish champion has reduced the gap to championship leader and Honda driver Tiago Monteiro from 49 points at most to just 12 points ahead of this weekend.
Team-mate Nicky Catsburg, 41 points from the championship lead in fifth position, is keen to take advantage of the preparations made during the summer break.
”We have prepared as much as possible ahead of the season-end sprint and I feel confident. I lost some ground to the leaders due to unfortunate punctures in the previous race weekend. But it is too early and too close to call so we are racing with the ambition for victories and to claim as many points as possible,” said Nicky Catsburg.
A new challenge awaits this weekend as the Chinese venue has been moved from Shanghai International Raceway to Ningbo International Speedpark, going from a very fast circuit to a more technical layout.
”The new circuit is very different and as we haven’t driven there before, it will be a great challenge. But we have adapted well so far to new circuits and with the preparations during the summer break, I definitely think we are in a good position. As we have just four race weekends left, it is vital to work together as a team and I know that we have what it takes to beat our rivals,” said Néstor Girolami.
With just over half of the season completed, a study of the statistics shows that Polestar Cyan Racing has so far claimed three victories, nine podium finishes, 19 top five finishes, five fastest laps and two pole positions. Thed Björk has got the best average finishing position, excluding non-finishes, with 3.73, compared to the closest rival Mehdi Bennani on 4.27. Nicky Catsburg has the second best qualifying average on 3.7, just 0.5 places from championship rival and Honda driver Norbert Michelisz.
The top five drivers in the championship are separated by just 41 points with 240 points left to be fought for, making for one of the closest title fights in the history of the championship.
”After what seems like the longest summer break ever, we are eager to get back on track and the World Title fight is wide open. The Chinese race is special for us. With our parent company based in China, we view this as our second home, and we have a great fan base that grows stronger every year we race here. We are going all in this weekend with the aim of leaving China in a dual championship lead,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Follow Polestar Cyan Racing in the FIA WTCC Race of China at: wtcc.polestar.com
WTCC Race of China
Circuit: Ningbo International Speedpark
Length: 4000 m
Lap record (WTCC): TBE
(Times in CEST)
03:00 Free Practice 1 (45 min)
06:45 Free Practice 2 (45 min)
08:25 Race 1 (14 laps)
09:35 Race 2 (15 laps)
Drivers’ – Top 5
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 200 pts
2 Thed Björk Volvo S60 188 (-12)
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 171 (-29)
4 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée 164 (-36)
5 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 159 (-41)
9 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 68 (-132)
1 Honda 574 pts
2 Volvo 566 (-8)
Compensation weights for China
Model – Time difference – Weight
Honda Civic – +0.0 sec – +80 kg
Volvo S60 Polestar – 0.1 sec – +70 kg
Citroën C-Elysée – +0.3 sec – +50 kg
Chevrolet Cruze – +1.0 sec – +0 kg
Lada Vesta – +1.6 sec – +0 kg
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
22 – Manuel Fernandes – POR – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta WTCC
24 – Kevin Gleason – USA – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta 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
FIA World Touring Car Championship 2017 Calendar
WTCC Race of Morocco (Marrakech): 7-9 April
WTCC Race of Italy (Monza): 28-30 April
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
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
WTCC Race of Qatar (Losail International Circuit): 30 November-1 December
Johan Meissner, Press Manager
+46(0)70 241 3234
Polestar is Volvo Car Group’s performance road car brand and was founded by Polestar Racing, today known as Cyan Racing. Polestar’s birth was a result of Cyan Racing’s race engineers desire to explore how technology behind the multiple title-winning success in racing could be applied to the performance of road going Volvo cars, on all roads and conditions in everyday life. The first road-going performance Concepts were launched in 2010 and the first performance cars, based on the Volvo S60 and V60, were ready in 2012. In 2015, Volvo Cars acquired Polestar Performance. Today, Polestar builds the S60 and V60 Polestar, a 367-hp performance road car with over 250 developments over-and-above the standard Volvo products. It also offers Polestar Engineered performance hardware upgrades and powertrain software optimisations for existing Volvo products.
About Cyan Racing
Founded in 1996 and today known as Cyan Racing, the privately owned and operated company has been Volvo Car Group’s official team in motorsport since its conception. Cyan Racing has claimed multiple titles with the Volvo 850, S40, C30 and S60. Today, the company enjoys success on track with the Polestar road car brand as Polestar Cyan Racing in pursuit of both the World Touring Car Championship and Swedish GT, racing the Volvo S60 Polestar road going performance car.