Thed Björk targets title after defiant start for Lynk & Co in Morocco

2017 World Touring Car Championship drivers’ champion Thed Björk has thanked the Cyan Racing team and new manufacturer Lynk & Co after a successful debut for the new Chinese manufacturer in the World Touring Car Cup, where he leaves after winning Race 3 with the lead in the standings.

The 38-year-old finished second in Race 1 on Saturday behind the Honda Civic TCR of Esteban Guerrieri, and in Race 3 was able to capitalise on a technical issue for his team-mate Yvan Muller, who had been leading the race until a broken steering arm put him out of the race after 14 laps.

Björk was able to fend off the fast Audi of Frédéric Vervisch to win the race, which finished under the safety car following a late-race crash for WRT Audi driver Jean-Karl Vernay.

“Everybody in the racing team, they work a lot. Everybody works not normal hours non-stop, and we put a lot of effort developing the brand new car, and we’re very happy, anda little bit surprised with our pace this weekend,” said Björk.

“We didn’t know where we were in pace, but the feeling is indescribable, winning on our first race.”

The Swede admitted there was some concern after Muller’s car slowed out of the lead with just ten laps to go.

“Something happened with his car and I have the same car as him; the team told me not to go on the kerbs and really take care of the car as we didn’t know what happened. I’m very happy I could keep Vervisch behind me and take the win.”

Björk’s win is the first for Cyan Racing in touring cars since the Ningbo race in China in 2017, after the Swedish team took a forced sabbatical in 2018 when the technical regulations switched to TCR.

The team supported YMR’s programme in last year’s WTCR with the Hyundai i30 N TCR, before entering on its own again this year with the new Chinese manufacturer, which is owned by Volvo’s parent company Geely Group.

“This is a new start together with Lynk & Co, a brand new start. It’s a brand new marque and the feeling is the same as when we started with the Volvo, and I’m really happy – it’s almost like winning the championship, and we’ll try and do that as well.”