Polestar Cyan Racing has claimed a double World Championship lead after two podium finishes in the WTCC Race of Japan, with Thed Björk extending his lead to 16,5 points over main title rival and Honda driver Norbert Michelisz.
Just as in the previous race in China, rain was pouring down in both races where Thed Björk fought hard with his rivals to claim two solid top five finishes, bringing vital points to the title fight. Adding to the drama was a typhoon that passed Japan, forcing the organisers to move qualifying and both races to Sunday.
”We had the speed for better results but I am leaving Japan with a bigger championship lead than before and that was our objective. The team did a massive effort to bring me such a great car despite a very tough schedule due to the typhoon. I look forward to the next race in Macau where my goal is to continue scoring strongly and consistently,” said Thed Björk.
Nicky Catsburg showed strong form all weekend, claiming second place in the main race and second place in qualifying, just a couple of tenths from pole position. The results have strengthened his position in the championship, climbing to third position, just 19 points from the lead.
”The results did not reflect our potential, but with that said, it has been a good weekend and I have moved closer to the championship lead which was my ambition. We had some issues, my wipers stopped working in the second race but I still managed to set the fastest lap. I do not agree with the decision to stop the main race due to the weather, but I am nonetheless happy with second place and my aim is to bring even more points from Macau,” said Nicky Catsburg.
After missing the final practice session due to an off-track excursion, Néstor Girolami came back to qualify third and end the weekend with a podium in the main race.
”After the trouble we had prior to qualifying, I am pleased with this result and a massive thanks to the team that has worked really hard and well under stressed conditions. I am especially happy to step onto the podium together with my team-mate Nicky for the first time,” said Néstor Girolami.
Thed Björk heads the drivers’ championship by 16,5 points and Polestar Cyan Racing heads the manufacturers’ championship by 46,5 points with just two race weekends remaining of the 2017 season.
”We are leaving Japan, the home race of our main rivals Honda, in the lead of both championships and that is something we are pleased with. With just two race weekends left and the extremely challenging street circuit Macau next up, things are looking good but we need to continue to fight hard,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
The penultimate WTCC race of 2017 is held November 16-19th with the legendary Macau street race: wtcc.polestar.com
WTCC Race of Japan
Circuit: Twin Ring Motegi
Length: 4801 m
Lap record (WTCC): 1:57.136 (Tarquini)
Race 1 – Top 5
1 Tom Chilton Citroën C-Elysée 11 laps
2 Yann Ehrlacher Lada Vesta +13.158
3 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Civic +15.288
4 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +15.846
5 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +19.053
9 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +36.629
11 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +37.127
Race 2 – Top 5
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 10 laps
2 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +0.392
3 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +1.798
4 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Civic +3.306
5 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +5.554
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 2:08.890
2 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +0.370
3 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +0.934
4 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Civic +1.201
5 Ryo Michigami Honda Civic +1.575
Q2 – Top 5
1 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 2:08.411
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.568
3 Ryo Michigami Honda Civic +0.971
4 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Civic +0.983
5 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +1.102
6 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +1.102
Q1 – Top 5
1 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 2:09.522
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.462
3 Ryo Michigami Honda Civic +0.505
4 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.746
5 Tom Chilton Citroën C-Elysée +0.858
8 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +1.217
Drivers’ – Top 5
1 Thed Björk Volvo S60 228,5 pts
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 212 (-16,5)
3 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 209,5 (-19)
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 200 (-28,5)
5 Tom Chilton Citroën C-Elysée 184,5 (-44)
9 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 110 (-118,5)
1 Volvo 725,5 pts
2 Honda 679 (-46,5)
Compensation weights for Japan
Model – Time difference – Weight
Honda Civic – 0.0 sec – +80 kg
Volvo S60 Polestar – +0.1 sec – +70 kg
Citroën C-Elysée – +0.4 sec – +40 kg
Chevrolet Cruze – +0.7 sec – +10 kg
Lada Vesta – +1.3 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, Media Relations
+46(0)70 241 3234
Polestar is Volvo Car Group’s performance road car brand. On 17 October 2017, Polestar became a new separately-branded electric performance car company, offering a portfolio of bespoke Polestar cars. Polestar will enjoy specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefit from significant economies of scale as a result of its connection to Volvo. These synergies will allow it to design, develop and build world beating electrified high performance cars far faster than other new entrants into the market.
Polestar also builds the S60 and V60 Polestar, 367hp performance road cars with over 250 developments over-and-above the standard Volvo products through its Polestar Engineered offering. It also offers Polestar Engineered performance hardware upgrades and engine 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.