Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk has called his seventh place in qualifying for the World Touring Car Championship ‘a step in the right direction’ in a positive qualifying session for the Swedish team.
Although Björk’s seventh place on the grid for the Main Race failed to equal his previous best effort in the championship – having secured fifth in qualifying in Hungary – the reigning Scandinavian Touring Car Champion admitted he was pleased with his lap.
”I am quite happy with my lap. I made a mistake on the GP circuit, but I made good progress on the Nordschleife,” said Björk, whose lap came right at the end of the hour-long session. “We have still got a massive amount of work left ahead of us with the setup of the car, but this is definitely a big step in the right direction and a confidence booster ahead of the race.”
The situation was not as positive for the second Volvo of Fredrik Ekblom, who will be forced to start the Opening Race from the back of the grid due to an engine change between testing and practice.
Despite that, the Swede put in a solid effort in qualifying to put his S60 in 11th on the grid for the Main Race, missing out on the reverse pole position by just 0.027 seconds – a fraction of time considering the 25-km length of a lap on the Nordschleife.
“Obviously I am disappointed to miss so much time in testing, especially at the Nordschleife where it is all about getting as many laps as possible to get into rhythm,” said Ekblom. “But everyone in the team has fought really hard to move forward and overcome the issues.
“With all this in mind, I would say that his was an okay qualifying result and we are going to continue pushing forward.”
Polestar Head of Motorsport Alexander Murdzevski-Schedvin reiterated the fact that the team see 2016 as all about developing the car and getting to know the championship ahead of a full, three-car campaign in 2017.
“The team is thrown into one challenge bigger than the other, just weeks after completing the first four races in five weeks and they are again delivering strongly,” he said. “This is such a unique circuit where it is all about finding a very specific setup, so this is very much about laying a foundation for next year.”
The Opening Race kicks off at 11:20 CEST (10:20 BST) on Saturday morning.