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WTCC - Monza, Qual.: Björk is the Volvo Polestar

"It feels great!"

29 April 2017 - 16h13, by Olivier Ferret 

Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk will start the FIA World Touring Car Championship Main Race from pole position at Monza after topping qualifying for the first time on Saturday.

The Swede dramatically jumped to the top of the times with the final run in the Q3 top-five shoot-out to bump Castrol Honda World Touring Car’s Tiago Monteiro down to second.

Rob Huff, running without the benefit of team-mates to tow him around the parkland circuit, was the star of Q1. He jumped from P13 to the top of the times with six minutes to go in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. The Briton then lowered his own benchmark on the following lap with a time of 1m52.754s.

But the Volvos worked brilliantly as a team, running as a three-car train. The trio crossed the line with three minutes of Q1 to go and bumped Huff to fourth. Nestor Girolami was on top with a 1m52.218s to head Polestar team-mates Björk and Nicky Catsburg.

The three Volvos, Monteiro and Huff topped the timesheets in Q2 to make it through to the shoot-out. Huff was the first to go in the nail-biting one-at-a-time climax to the session. The Briton set a target of 1m52.968s and looked delighted with his effort.

Polestar Cyan Racing’s Nestor Girolami was next to go, but buckled under the pressure and cut the second chicane, automatically annulling his time.

Volvo team-mate Nicky Catsburg followed Girolami, but couldn’t bump Huff from the top spot.

Now Monteiro set off on his lap. In the first two sectors he was fastest overall, but ran wide on the exit of Ascari. Still, his time of 1m52.821s was enough to push Huff from pole position.

But Polestar’s Björk was still to go and the Swede held his nerve to take pole with a 1m52.505s – obliterating Yvan Muller’s previous pre-TC1 WTCC qualifying lap record from 2013 by almost four seconds.

“It feels great!” said Björk. “I had a really good car from the beginning of qualifying. I pushed a little bit too hard at the last corner – it was a little bit too tight. But I lifted a little and it was ok.”

The FIA WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy weekend continues on Sunday with the Opening race at 12h15 local time and the Main Race scheduled for 14h15 local time.

WTCC MAC3: Volvo trio tops Honda

Polestar Cyan Racing’s trio of Volvo S60 WTCCs comfortably beat Castrol Honda World Touring Racing in the Manufacturers Against the Clock time trial following qualifying at the FIA World Touring Car Championship round at Monza.

Thed Bjork, Nestor Girolami and Nicky Catsburg were 2.004s quicker than Tiago Monteiro, Norbert Michelisz and Ryo Michigami in the Honda Civic WTCCs over the course of the two-lap MAC3 trial.

The victory increases Volvo’s lead in the manufacturer standings following its debut MAC3 success in Marrakech.

“It was a fantastic pole position for Thed and now we have won MAC 3 again,” said Girolami. “The result for the team is very good. We tried to get the slipstreaming right in qualifying and we did it perfectly this time too.”

The FIA WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy weekend continues continues on Sunday with the Opening race at 12h15 local time and the Main Race scheduled for 14h15 local time.

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