Thed Björk admitted that he was relaxed on his way to the Main Race win in the World Touring Car Championship at Monza, after opening up a gap following the safety car appearance.
Björk took his and Polestar’s second-ever win in the WTCC, having earlier in the weekend also taken the first pole position for Volvo.
Although he started from pole, an average start allowed Honda’s Tiago Monteiro to lead on the first lap of the race. Björk then powered around the outside of the Civic at the Parabolica on the second lap, to retake a lead he would not lose.
The Swede admits that he didn’t feel any particular pressure during the race, saying that once he knew he had a gap over Monteiro he was able to relax on the way to victory.
“I drove my own race,” said Björk to TouringCars.Net. “Of course I was a little bit worried about the car, but we did some race runs when we were here testing and I knew that the car would manage it with the way I was driving, as it did before.
“I was not expecting it to change actually, but you always go around listening to small stuff and in the last two laps I stayed off [the kerbs] and I did really nice, smooth driving just to be safe.
“My goal was to build a gap fast in the first two laps [after taking the lead], so I could get them out of the slipstream.”
Björk admitted that the race win was relatively straightforward once he had retaken the lead, with the win moving him to second overall and 15 points adrift of Monteiro in the championship standings.
“It’s not often that you can say you have an easy race, but for me I knew it was safe after the safety car, once I had pulled out a gap.
“This race felt much better [than the first win] when I was driving it, because I was so fast. I just kept the speed and I was relaxed, and it was really working well.”