Thed Björk admits that he was ‘surprised’ to be on the pace in the opening round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup in Marrakech, where the Swede scored a historic maiden win for new brand Lynk & Co.
Björk followed up a podium on the first day of action with a historic victory in Sunday’s final race, after inheriting the lead when Cyan Racing team-mate Yvan Muller encountered technical dramas.
It meant that the all-new Lynk & Co 03 TCR car took a win in only its first weekend of racing, and sees the Swede leave Morocco at the head of the drivers’ standings.
“I am very happy and a little bit surprised to be on the pace,” said Björk. “We did not know over the winter where we were, but obviously it’s indescribable to take a victory in the first weekend.
“There is a lot of work of course, everybody in our racing team works a lot. All our mechanics, they work not normal hours. They work really late. They are just pushing for us drivers to be able to drive.
“It is the same effort as the other teams, but we have put a lot of effort into developing this brand-new car.”
With the suspension issue which struck Muller’s car, Björk admits that he became more cautious late in the race as he sought to keep the Audi of Frédéric Vervisch behind.
“The problem was something happened with his [Muller’s] car and I had exactly the same car as him. The team told me don’t go on the kerbs, because we didn’t know what had happened to his car.
“I really tried to take care of the car, all the bumps here are really aggressive. So I’m really happy I was able to keep Vervisch behind me and take the win.
“If I would have pushed harder maybe I would have broken my car. Going for the victory and not finishing was not an option, so I really tried to be at a level where I could win but not break the car.”
Björk says he is now targeting the overall driver’s title in the first season with the Geely Group TCR car.
“It’s a brand-new start with Lynk & Co, and I remember how much feeling we had with Volvo. Now it’s a brand-new marque, even though its Geely.
“I could share the joy with Lynk & Co people here in Marrakech, so they chose a really good event to come to. I’m really happy with that.
“It’s almost like winning the championship, but we’ll try to do that as well.”