Polestar Cyan Racing has claimed a double World Championship lead after two podium finishes in the WTCC Race of Japan, with Thed Björk extending his lead to 16,5 points over main title rival and Honda driver Norbert Michelisz.
Just as in the previous race in China, rain was pouring down in both races where Thed Björk fought hard with his rivals to claim two solid top five finishes, bringing vital points to the title fight. Adding to the drama was a typhoon that passed Japan, forcing the organisers to move qualifying and both races to Sunday.
”We had the speed for better results but I am leaving Japan with a bigger championship lead than before and that was our objective. The team did a massive effort to bring me such a great car despite a very tough schedule due to the typhoon. I look forward to the next race in Macau where my goal is to continue scoring strongly and consistently,” said Thed Björk.
Nicky Catsburg showed strong form all weekend, claiming second place in the main race and second place in qualifying, just a couple of tenths from pole position. The results have strengthened his position in the championship, climbing to third position, just 19 points from the lead.
”The results did not reflect our potential, but with that said, it has been a good weekend and I have moved closer to the championship lead which was my ambition. We had some issues, my wipers stopped working in the second race but I still managed to set the fastest lap. I do not agree with the decision to stop the main race due to the weather, but I am nonetheless happy with second place and my aim is to bring even more points from Macau,” said Nicky Catsburg.
After missing the final practice session due to an off-track excursion, Néstor Girolami came back to qualify third and end the weekend with a podium in the main race.
”After the trouble we had prior to qualifying, I am pleased with this result and a massive thanks to the team that has worked really hard and well under stressed conditions. I am especially happy to step onto the podium together with my team-mate Nicky for the first time,” said Néstor Girolami.
Thed Björk heads the drivers’ championship by 16,5 points and Polestar Cyan Racing heads the manufacturers’ championship by 46,5 points with just two race weekends remaining of the 2017 season.
”We are leaving Japan, the home race of our main rivals Honda, in the lead of both championships and that is something we are pleased with. With just two race weekends left and the extremely challenging street circuit Macau next up, things are looking good but we need to continue to fight hard,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
The penultimate WTCC race of 2017 is held November 16-19th with the legendary Macau street race: