Thed Björk ‘really happy’ with Aragón podium despite straight-line struggles

For much of the season, Balance of Performance has been a talking point in the FIA World Touring Car Cup, and as a result, so has Cyan Racing’s consequent straight-line speed deficiency. 

Although the overall pace of their quartet of Lynk & Co 03 TCRs hasn’t been severely hampered, it does appear to be making life difficult for the team in wheel-to-wheel combat.

Speaking after the opening race of the weekend at Motorland Aragon in Spain, Cyan’s Thed Björk reiterated that point after being unable to fend off the cars surrounding him.

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“That was a very tough race for us,” he said. “As you can see, we were fighting so hard but we can’t overtake anybody – we’re playing a defensive game.

“We can be fast over one lap, as you saw in qualifying. But in the race it’s so hard because the others are faster than us in a straight line. I went from eighth to tenth and there was nothing I could do.”

That said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Swedish driver and team. As Björk mentioned, his stellar pace in qualifying meant that he would start from the front row for Sunday’s feature race. 

However, after the difficulties of Race One, Björk felt as though he and his engineers would have to rethink their set-up to be able to compete against polesitter Frédéric Vervisch. 

“…after the first race I thought because Fred [Vervisch] overtook me I was not in good fighting [shape],” he said. 

“I have to fix this for the second race, so we did a lot of changes, even on the grid after the warm-up lap. 

“I was sitting there at the start and I had a good opportunity, then my next thought was yeah, but if Fred does a good start… it will be clean anyway and that’s what he did, so good job. 

“Then I followed and I had a lot of pressure, but like you said it was like this all the race, so it was not easy but super-fun.

“Finishing the race P2, back on the podium feels super, super good, and I’m really happy with the car to perform this well. 

“We were struggling a little bit with the race pace, but a fantastic feeling to put it in second position – I’m really happy with that!”

In general, it was a positive weekend for Cyan Racing, as Björk’s stablemate and reigning WTCR champion Yann Ehrlacher was able to move up to second place in the 2021 standings – just eight points behind leader Jean-Karl Vernay. 

With Yvan Muller also ranked as high as third, the team are positioning themselves well for a strong end to the season.

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