The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) races in Japan proved to be the best weekend of 2016 so far for Polestar Cyan Racing, with drivers Néstor Girolami and Thed Björk claiming fifth and sixth position respectively in very hot conditions.
”This has been a very good weekend for me. We made a lot of changes to the car for the second race, improving it a lot and when I passed Chilton I could really make some ground on the top cars ahead of me. I am very proud and grateful for the result and the opportunity the team has given me,” said Néstor Girolami.
The Argentinian impressed on his debut for the team at Twin Ring Motegi and fought his way up to fifth in the second race, being outpaced only by newly crowned champion José María López.
Team-mate Thed Björk fought for second place in the first race, but dropped back towards the end of the race due damage from an earlier incident. The Swedish driver claimed sixth position nonetheless, followed up by seventh position in the second race.
”This has been a productive and interesting weekend where we have taken a couple of steps forward. My car was great in the beginning of the first race before I unfortunately sustained some damage to it. Overall, the WTCC race of Japan has been positive for us on several levels and I can’t wait for the next race in China where I have raced before in the WTCC,” said Thed Björk.
The Japanese WTCC weekend at Twin Ring Motegi proved to be a clear step forward for Polestar Cyan Racing, with both drivers finishing in the top ten of both races, as well as making it to Q2 of the qualifying session, despite temperatures reaching 35°C.
”If you expand your testing efforts, as we have done, this is the kind of evolvement you are expecting and hoping for. This is the most competitive championship we have ever competed in and we are happy for these results today, but we will work hard again tomorrow and remain patient for what is to come further on,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
The WTCC continues in three weeks at the Shanghai International Circuit in China.
WTCC Race of Japan
Circuit: Twin Ring Motegi
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 13 laps
2 Rob Huff Honda Civic +1.358
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic +2.173
4 José María López Citroën C-Elysée +3.609
5 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée +4.805
6 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +8.049
9 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +10.135
1 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée 14 laps
2 José María López Citroën C-Elysée +1.045
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic +2.561
4 Mehdi Bennai Citroën C-Elysée +3.280
5 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +5.204
7 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +9.159
1 José María López Citroën C-Elysée 319 pts
2 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 199 (-120)
3 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée 199 (-120)
4 Rob Huff Honda Civic 178 (-141)
5 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 172 (-147)
12 Thed Björk Volvo S60 55 (-264)
13 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo S60 35 (-284)
15 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 12 (-307)
Polestar is the performance brand of Volvo Cars. The company was founded as a motorsport team in 1996 and has been successful in numerous championships, racing with various Volvo models. In 2009, Polestar started to offer performance related products and thereby intensified the business relations with Volvo Cars. The first performance cars, based on Volvo’s S60 and V60, were launched in 2014. In 2015, Volvo Cars acquired the performance unit of Polestar, as a strong commitment towards a credible performance offer and with the mission to define future premium performance.
About Cyan Racing
Cyan Racing is the motorsport partner to Polestar. The company is owned by Christian Dahl and handles all motorsport operations of Polestar. Cyan Racing, formerly named Polestar Racing, has claimed five STCC driver titles and seven STCC team titles with the Volvo 850, S40, C30 and S60.