Thed Björk wants to deliver ‘as good results as possible’ as he heads into his first full World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) season with Polestar Cyan Racing in 2016.
Björk will line up alongside team-mate Fredrik Ekblom in one of Volvo’s brand new S60 TC1 cars when the season kicks off in earnest at Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France in April.
The Swede comes into the WTCC fresh from having claimed a third successive Scandinavian Touring Car title in 2015, giving him plenty of reasons to be confident about his 2016 season.
“[The objective is] to build a strong base with the car and to learn as much as possible,” explained Björk. “To really go deep into analysis 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.”
The 35-year-old has been doing plenty of pre-season preparation, joining team-mate Ekblom in a variety of physical activities. Despite that, he admits that it will be a challenge going into a new championship and season not knowing exactly where he is in comparison to the competition.
“Fredrik 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.
“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.”
Commenting on his new car, Björk stopped short of calling it difficult to drive in comparison to the STCC cars which he is used to, adding that finding the right balance was crucial.
“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.
“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 it on.”