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Thed Björk ‘very happy’ with Polestar pace

Volvo Polestar Racing’s Thed Björk says he is ‘very happy’ with his maiden World Touring Car Championship performances after Saturday in Shanghai, having set the pace in first practice and posted the seventh fastest lap in Q1.

“I am of course very happy, the car is working beautifully and the team has done an amazing job keeping in mind that we have never before raced here,” said Björk.

Reigning Scandinavian Touring Car Champion Björk set the pace in the morning’s first practice session by an impressive 0.611 seconds and folllowed it up with second fastest in the second practice session, 0.340 seconds off the pace. However he was cautious about the significance of the times, as he was able to run with new tyres compared to the rest of the field.

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“One should note that we had new tyres in the practice sessions, something the other drivers didn’t as we are new in the championship,” added Björk.

In qualifying the Swede’s impressive pace continued as he set the seventh fastest time. However as his Volvo C30 has been homologated nationally and not by the FIA he was not eligible to compete in Q2, leaving him in 12th – the best possible grid position.

Björk was later handed a five-place grid penalty as his car was found to be underweight during the post-qualifying technical checks, despite having earlier passed the weight check after Q1.

“The pace is there and I have no doubt that we could have fought for the top positions on the grid if we were allowed to Q2,” added Björk .”I am nonetheless very pleased with our performance and result in qualifying.

“We have two really tough races ahead of us, starting right in the middle of the action. I am going fight hard and try to climb as high as possible in the two races tomorrow. The feeling is really good.”

Volvo Polestar Racing’s head of engine development Mattias Evensson added that the team were pleased with the car’s engine performances, as the C30 proved to be consistently one of the fastest cars in the speed traps at the fast Shanghai International Circuit.

“We are pleased with the performance of the engine and it is satisfying to get a proof of its competitiveness with the results from practice and qualifying,” added Evensson.

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