Thed Björk has climbed to third position in the FIA World Touring Car Cup standings following a solid points haul in a chaotic race weekend at Suzuka in Japan.
The 2017 World Champion fought his way into the top five of all three races and is 45 points from points leader Esteban Guerrieri ahead of the final two race weekends.
"The focus this weekend was on being consistent, stay out of trouble and score as many points as possible. I think we have been able to do just that. Macau is going to be really difficult as the Hyundais are so much quicker on the straights, despite supposedly having the same power level of 97,5% as us. It feels rather hopeless and has been going on all season," said Thed Björk.
Yvan Muller had a tough weekend at Suzuka following a crash in qualifying that was held in torrential rain. Starting from the back of the grid in all three races, the four-time champion passed no less than 14 cars on his way to eleventh position in the first race.
"This is obviously not the result we wanted from this weekend. My mind is already set on the next race in Macau," said Yvan Muller, who is third overall, 50 points from the top spot.
Andy Priaulx bounced back after being taken out by Hyundai driver Nicky Catsburg in the first race to finish seventh in the third and final race.
"I had to defend really hard for almost the entire final race. But thanks to Tarquini and Huff for a fair race, we raced with no problem at all. While I didn't get the results I wanted in the races, I am glad that I fought for pole in qualifying and that is what I bring with me to the next race," said Andy Priaulx.
Yann Ehrlacher brought home a battle-scarred Lynk & Co 03 TCR to 17th position in the final race.
"When you start this far down, you can't really expect more than we got. I had a good final part of the third race, but then I had a fight with Farfus. I am tired to find any words about this, they are driving so desperate. I am thoroughly disappointed," said Yann Ehrlacher.
The team championship standings are close leading into the final two race weekends of the 2019 FIA WTCR season with Lynk & Co Cyan Racing in a joint lead with Honda team Münnich Motorsport, both on 481 points.
Thed Björk is third overall, 45 points from the lead, with Yvan Muller fourth, five points further behind.
The season continues with the penultimate race weekend at the legendary Macau street circuit on November 14-17th.
UPDATE: Thed Björk has been promoted to third place in the final race and Andy Priaulx to fifth as Kevin Ceccon and Tiago Monteiro have been penalised. The changed results has seen Thed Björk close in on the points lead by five points and Lynk & Co Cyan Racing to extend the team championship lead to four points over Münnich Motorsport.
FIA WTCR Race of Japan
Results – Race 1
Results – Race 2
Results – Race 3 (updated)
Points for drivers – Top 5
1 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Civic 288 points
2 Norbert Michelisz Hyundai i30 282 (-6)
3 Thed Björk Lynk & Co 03 248 (-40)
4 Yvan Muller Lynk & Co 03 240 (-48)
5 Mikel Azcona Cupra TCR 198 (-90)
8 Yann Ehrlacher Lynk & Co 03 182 (-106)
20 Andy Priaulx Lynk & Co 03 61 (-227)
Points for teams – Top 5
1 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 488 points
2 Münnich Motorsport 484 (-4)
3 BRC Hyundai Squadra 475 (-13)
4 BRC Hyundai Lukoil 275 (-213)
5 SLR Volkswagen 259 (-229)
7 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 243 (-245)
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About Cyan Racing
Cyan Racing was founded in 1996 and was formerly named Polestar until Volvo Cars acquired the performance section and trademark in 2015. Cyan Racing is privately owned and operated. The team has claimed multiple titles, most recently the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup team title and the double 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship titles for driver and manufacturer – and participated in the development of the Polestar performance models of the Volvo S60 and V60 in the years 2013 to 2015.
About Lynk & Co
Lynk & Co is the new global urban mobility brand addressing the needs and preferences of the connected generation and challenging auto industry conventions. Its products are designed and engineered in Sweden and will be sold globally.