Lynk & Co Cyan Racing driver Thed Björk scored a podium finish in the debut race for the all-new Lynk & Co 03 TCR race car. The Swede finished second, just 0.6 seconds from the winner, in the first race of the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup season on the streets of Marrakech in Morocco.
"It's amazing to be on the podium. To finish in second place in our first race ever with the Lynk & Co 03 TCR feels super," said Thed Björk.
"I got a good start and tried to go for the lead into the first corner. But this is a tough track on brakes and tyres, so I stayed behind in second place waiting for Guerrieri to make a mistake. We fought really hard today and the result today is a true testament to the efforts by everyone in the team during the winter."
Björk started second, made a great start and challenged Honda driver Esteban Guerrieri for the lead into the first corner. The Lynk & Co Cyan Racing driver had to slot in behind in second place but was right behind him throughout the race.
Team-mate Andy Priaulx made a great start as well and gained one position up to third place after the first corner. The Brit was however hit from behind by Audi driver Jean-Karl Vernay, who later received a 5-second penalty, and dropped down to finish fifth.
"I am quite happy with the result today, the team has done a great job with the car and I was able to get a strong qualifying session, followed by a good race. The incident was unfortunate, but that's racing sometimes," said Andy Priaulx.
Yann Ehrlacher started eighth and finished eighth, fighting hard in the very closely matched field.
"We missed out by a little in qualifying, but with such a close field like this, it meant that I started eighth and on a circuit like this, it's very hard to make progress. But the car felt good and I look forward to the races tomorrow," said Yann Ehrlacher.
Yvan Muller started from the pit lane following his engine change penalty from qualifying, this due to him hitting curbs after going off track, and crossed the line in 18th position from 26th spot on the grid.
"Starting 26th on a street circuit like Marrakech means that I could only drive my own race and see what would happen infront of me. I am happy for Thed and the team, they scored really well in our first race with the new car," said Yvan Muller.
Björk has claimed second place in the drivers' championship on 23 points, Priaulx is fifth on 12 points and Ehrlacher is eighth on 8 points. The two Lynk & Co Cyan Racing teams have claimed positions two and three on 27 and 20 points respectively.
"Congratulations to the Lynk & Co Cyan Racing team that performed tremendously well in the first WTCR race of the 2019 season. Especially given the circumstances with a completely new race car against extremely tough competition from manufacturers with several years in the category. This result says a lot about the team and the qualities of the Lynk & Co 03 production model, we do look forward to an interesting season," said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Geely Group Motorsport.
The race weekend in Morocco continues tomorrow April 7th with qualifying and two races.
Points for drivers – Top 5
1 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Civic 30 pts
2 Thed Björk Lynk & Co 03 23
3 Néstor Girolami Honda Civic 18
4 Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai i30 13
5 Andy Priaulx Lynk & Co 03 12
8 Yann Ehrlacher Lynk & Co 03 8
Points for teams – Top 5
1 Münnich Motorsport 48 pts
2 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 27
3 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 20
4 BRC Hyundai 18
5 KCMG 10
Results Race 1 Marrakech