Following its inaugural FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) season in 2016 that exceeded all expectations, Polestar Cyan Racing has ramped up its 2017 programme with three new Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 race cars, a new driver line-up and a firm goal to become world champions.
Three key elements have been put into place to achieve this ultimate target:
- Experienced drivers – Thed Björk, Néstor Girolami and Nicky Catsburg
- Significant increase in engineering and technical resources
- An extensive off-season test programme
“We have full confidence in the preparations and abilities of the Polestar Cyan Racing team and the driver line-up with Thed, Néstor and Nicky. However, we are by no means expecting an easy time in reaching our goal, which has been brought forward by one year, and the opposition is as tough as ever. But there should be no doubt that we have the world title as our ultimate objective this year,” says Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Four-time STCC champion Thed Björk continues as a driver for Polestar Cyan Racing, having been a vital part of the development programme as well as claiming the team’s first WTCC victory in Shanghai last year. Björk is joined by two new drivers.
Double Argentinian Super TC 2000 champion Néstor Girolami drove one race weekend for the team last season and impressed on his debut, earning him a full-time drive, as well as a part of the development programme.
New to the Polestar Cyan Racing team, but not to the WTCC, is experienced Dutch racer Nicky Catsburg, who has raced and won in the WTCC since 2014.
“The feeling of winning our first race already in our first season was incredible and it really boosted my confidence ahead of the new and higher targets we have set for this season,” says Thed Björk. “The off-season testing has been rewarding; I have never before driven this much ahead of a season and I feel well prepared to fight for the world title. I am also really glad to have Néstor and Nicky on board – they are both very fast and professional.”
Néstor Girolami continues: “I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity at Polestar Cyan Racing. My first race with the team last year was really promising and I felt right at home with them. I hope to, together with everyone in the team, take the next step forward in the standings this year.”
Nicky Catsburg concludes: “I followed Polestar Cyan Racing’s progress closely from a competing team in 2016 and I am very glad to join them now. Their results from last year were impressive and I hope that I, together with Thed and Néstor, can contribute to a performance graph pointing straight up, in order to deliver on our tough goals for the 2017 season.”
The Polestar Cyan Racing team has been busy since the 2016 season end in November last year with an off-season test programme on circuits in southern Europe with the 300 kW Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 race car.
Preparations have been boosted and accelerated by the team’s new 18 million euro CYAN Motorsport Centre, located in Gothenburg, Sweden. The facilities will be completed in March, marking the biggest ever motorsport project in Scandinavia. The workshop spans over 6 000 m2 and holds all departments needed for a WTCC title assault, including an F1-standard simulator, fully dynamic engine dyno, chassis and engine manufacturing, design office and more.
“This is the result of many years of hard work and we are proud to create an unprecedented level of motorsport engineering in Scandinavia. The facilities are a vital part of our push for the 2017 WTCC title, but there is of course more to it. Our testing programme has proceeded according to plan and we have taken key steps forward in the development of the S60 Polestar TC1 race car,” says Christian Dahl, CEO of Cyan Racing.
The 2017 WTCC season starts on April 8th in Morocco and spans ten race weekends on four continents, ending on December 2nd in Qatar. Next up for the Polestar Cyan Racing team is the official WTCC pre-season test at the legendary Monza circuit in Italy on 14 and 15 March.
2017 WTCC Calendar
March 14-15 – Pre-season test – Monza, Italy
April 9 – Marrakech, Morrocco
April 30 – Monza, Italy
May 14 – Hungaroring, Hungary
May 27 – Nürburgring Nordschleife, Germany
June 25 – Vila Real, Portugal
August 6 – Termas De Rio Hondo, Argentina
October 15 – Shanghai, China
October 29 – Motegi, Japan
November 19 – Macau, China
December 1 – Losail, Qatar
Facts – Thed Björk
Lives: Karlskoga, Sweden
Born: 14 December 1980
2015 – STCC – Champion
2014 – STCC – Champion
2013 – STCC – Champion
2012 – TTA – 3rd
2011 – Camaro Cup Sweden – Champion
2009 – STCC – 2nd
2008 – STCC – 3rd
2006 – STCC – Champion
2005 – STCC – 2nd
2003 – GTR Sweden – Champion
2001 – FIA Sportscar SR2 – Champion
1999 – F3 Sweden & Nordic – Champion
Facts – Néstor Girolami
Lives: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born: 22 May 1989
2015 – Super TC2000 – Champion
2014 – Super TC2000 – Champion
2012 – Super TC2000 – 3rd
2006 – Formula Renault 1.6 Argentina – 2nd
Facts – Nicky Catsburg
Lives: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Born: 15 February 1988
2012 – Dutch GT Championship – 3rd
2010 – Mégane Trophy Eurocup – Champion
2006 – Formula Ford Benelux – Champion
2005 – SEAT Cupra Cup – 2nd
2004 – Dutch Winter Endurance Series – 3rd
Technical specification – Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
Engine: 4-cylinder, 1595 cc, Volvo Drive–E
Power: 300 kW
Max rpm: 8 500
Gearbox: 6-speed sequential
Suspension: MacPherson front and rear, adjustable Öhlins dampers
Brakes front: 4-piston caliper, 390 mm ventilated discs
Brakes rear: 2-piston caliper, 280 mm ventilated discs
Wheels: 18-inch with five-bolt pattern
Body: Steel and carbon fibre
Weight: 1 100 kg