Thed Björk became the first driver ever to claim three consecutive STCC titles last year. 2016 means a new challenge for him as he takes on the FIA World Touring Car Championship with Polestar Cyan Racing. Join us as we ask ten questions about what is to come.
How are you preparing your self for the coming WTCC season?
”Mental and physical training as well as driving in the simulator. Fredrik (Ekblom) and I are pushing each other hard with the physical training. I do about 10 to 12 sessions each week with running, skipping rope and the gym.”
What has been the most challenging part of the development work?
”The most challenging thing is to not know exactly how fast the others are. These circuits require a lot from the driver and the car. That makes it really challenging to try to understand what to prepare for, how to drive as fast as possible.”
What has been the most enjoyable part of the development work?
”The chance to drive a car from the very first metres. This is a completely new race car that we are going to develop from scratch, together as one, drivers and the team, in order to win the world championship. That is the most enjoyable part.”
How is the Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 to drive?
”I really enjoy it! This is one of the most extreme touring cars with a lot of power, front-wheel drive and a lot of aerodynamics. Difficult is the wrong word for me as a driver, but it is challenging to find the keys in order to drive as fast as possible. We just need to find that sweet spot as fast as possible.”
How do you drive a powerful front-wheel drive car as fast as possible?
”It is about feeling how the car works, to feel how much grip there is. The aerodynamics help, but to drive really fast you need to find the limit and be on it at all times. You need to find the balance. Then it does not matter if the car is front or rear-wheel driven. The difference is in the details and how you take on it.”
What is the main objective for you this season?
”To build a strong base with the car and to learn as much as possible. To really go deep into analysis and it is going to require an incredible cooperation within the team to find all details as fast as possible. My personal goal is to deliver as good results as possible. I feel really confident after having worked with the team for four years, having established a way of working that I really like. That is something we take with us to the WTCC.”
Which race are you longing for the most?
”I’m longing for each new circuit, I really like learning new ones. I do look forward to the season final in order to see what result we got in the end. I am really excited to see how we are going to land after a season and to analyse all data.”
Who will be the toughest competitor this year?
”Easy. Lopéz and Muller. They have been in a class of their own.”
Where do you think you will be on the grid for the first race?
”I think with a bit of optimistic thinking that we will qualify around fifth or sixth. Towards the end of the year I hope that we can be in the top five or top three with some stability. But it is really an impossible question to answer as we simply don’t know where we are yet.”
What is your overall goal with the WTCC programme?
”World champion. As simple and clear as that.”