Thed Björk was ‘really disappointed’ to start his FIA World Touring Car Cup season with a big crash in Pau, which caused a lengthy stoppage in the second part of qualifying.
Björk had earlier been the second fastest of the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co drivers in Q1, when he was just eight thousandths behind new team-mate Ma Qing Hua.
However, on his first flying lap in Q2 the Swede clipped a wall on the inside of Turn 13, pitching him heavily into the armco on the outside of the chicane.
The impact caused extensive front-end damage to Björk’s Lynk & Co, which has been repaired overnight, whilst the barriers had to be repaired, causing a one-hour delay to qualifying.
The uninjured Björk later explained how he had been feeling confident in his car and rhythym up until that point.
“I was not expecting that – I had such a free flow, a nice flow on the track, and then just a tiny, tiny mistake, and I brushed the wall on the one side and it sent me into the other wall on the other side,” explained Björk.
“What can I say? We’re always trying to push on the limit and sometimes you just make a small push too much and you end up like this.
“There’s not so much I can say. I’m really disappointed because I wanted so much to get the points and start the season well in Pau.
“Now I hope that the car is OK so that we can fix it and keep fighting for the points. As it is now, I just have to relax and take it easy to recover.”
Björk will start both of Sunday’s races from 12th on the grid after he failed to post a time in Q2 as a result of his smash.