Polestar Racing head to the brand new Ningbo circuit in China this weekend hoping to slash the gap to World Touring Car Championship leaders Honda and Tiago Monteiro, as Thed Björk says ‘the car has never been better’.
Björk currently sits 12 points adrift of Monteiro in second overall in the drivers’ championship standings, whilst Volvo Polestar are only eight points behind Honda in the manufacturers’ classification.
For Björk, heading to China brings back memories of the Swede’s first-ever WTCC win, which came in China but at a different venue in Shanghai in 2016.
“There is only one target for me this weekend,” said Björk. “I am aiming to win again, especially as we are in a much stronger position this season compared to when I won last year in China.
“The car has never been better and while this is the closest title fight in many years, I think we will be hard to beat for the remainder of the season.”
Björk isn’t the only Volvo driver still in contention for the title though, with Dutch racer Nicky Catsburg 41 points away from the top of the table but still very much in the mix if things go his way, with 40 points still on the table this year.
“We have prepared as much as possible ahead of the season-end sprint and I feel confident,” said Catsburg, who despite dominating the previous meeting in Argentina has only one podium finish to his name so far this year.
“I lost some ground to the leaders due to unfortunate punctures in the previous race weekend. But it is too early and too close to call so we are racing with the ambition for victories and to claim as many points as possible.”
Polestar’s Head of Motorsport, Alexander Murdzevski-Schedvin, says that the Ningbo race has extra significance for the brand, as Volvo are owned by Chinese company Geely who are headquartered in the Zhejiang province and have financed the construction of the new circuit.
“After what seems like the longest summer break ever, we are eager to get back on track and the World Title fight is wide open,” he added.
“The Chinese race is special for us. With our parent company based in China, we view this as our second home, and we have a great fan base that grows stronger every year we race here.
“We are going all in this weekend with the aim of leaving China in a dual championship lead.”