The most challenging street circuit in the world, the six-kilometre Macau Circuito da Guia, awaits double FIA World Touring Car Championship leaders Polestar Cyan Racing this weekend.
With just two race weekends remaining of the 2017 season, pressure is building for championship leader, Thed Björk who has a 16.5-point lead over Honda driver and main title rival, Norbert Michelisz.
”Macau is the biggest challenge of the season – it’s the penultimate round of the season and I have never have driven there before. I am the chased driver of the Championship, but that is something I will use as a strength. I am right where I want to be – at the front of the pack – and we are in our strongest position yet with the development of the car. I feel confident, but of course we need to be on our toes all weekend and try not to make any errors. The consequences of mistakes in Macau can be significant,” said Thed Björk.
Thed Björk is not alone in the title fight from Polestar Cyan Racing with team-mate Nicky Catsburg just 19 points from the championship lead after a strong previous round in Japan where he scored a podium finish. The Dutchman is also the sole driver of the team with previous experience of the Macau circuit.
”The goal for everyone at Polestar Cyan Racing, including me and Thed, is to win both titles together as a team, and all of our planning revolves around that. While there are just two race weekends left, we are still racing for 120 points and the top seven of the championship are separated by just 49 points. We are in a very strong position but it is incredibly close for the final races. I hope to be on the podium this weekend and I have an advantage of having raced here before,” said Nicky Catsburg.
Néstor Girolami has returned to form after a difficult start to the season with a victory, pole position and podium finish from the previous two race weekends, something he believes is key for the team in the title fight.
”I am very happy with the progress and results from the past two race weekends and my ambition is to continue that for the final two races. This is also very important for us in the title fight. I am too far away from the drivers’ title fight, but we need all points we can get for the manufacturers and I will fight very hard to continue contributing to us keeping the lead for both championships,” said Néstor Girolami.
Macau has hosted the legendary street race at Circuito da Guia since 1963. It features a challenging mix of narrow 180-degree hairpin bends with blisteringly fast corners well above 200 km/h, all with unforgiving barriers at the very edge of the asphalt.
”There is no room for error at the unforgiving Macau, especially with just two race weekends left. This is one of the legendary races of the racing world that everyone wants to win. We have a tough task ahead of us as we haven’t raced here since 2011 and we are the heaviest of all with 80kg of compensation weight. That said, our racing package is at its strongest so far this season and our ambition is the same as always – aim to leave the race with a big bag of points and continued double championship lead,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Follow Polestar Cyan Racing in the FIA WTCC Race of Macau at: wtcc.polestar.com
WTCC Race of Macau
Circuit: Circuito da Guia
Length: 6120 m
Lap record (WTCC): 2:27.009 (Huff)
(Times in CET)
06:10 Free Practice 1 (45 min)
02:15 Free Practice 2 (45 min)
07:10 Race 1 (8 laps)
03:40 Race 2 (11 laps)
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 Macau
Model – Time difference – Weight
Volvo S60 Polestar – 0.0 sec – +80 kg
Honda Civic – +0.1 sec – +70 kg
Chevrolet Cruze – +0.7 sec – +10 kg
Citroën C-Elysée – +0.8 sec – +0 kg
Lada Vesta – +1.0 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
Contact details for the Polestar Public Relations and Communications team:
Duncan Forrester, Public Relations and Communications
Johan Meissner, Media Relations
Sunnie Zhang, Public Relations and Communications, China
John Paolo Canton, Public Relations and Communications, Americas
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.