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Monza, Race 2: Björk’s emphatic victory

"I had so much speed in my car"

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By Olivier Ferret

30 April 2017 - 15:02
Monza, Race 2: Björk’s emphatic (...)

Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk scored a resounding FIA World Touring Car Championship victory for Volvo in the Main Race at Monza on Sunday.

The Swede, starting from the DHL Pole Position, made a poor getaway and was out-dragged by fellow front row starter Tiago Monteiro. But Bjork had made up for it by the end of lap one by pulling past the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Civic on the run down to Parabolica, and was never headed thereafter to win by 2.1s.

“I had so much speed in my car,” said a thrilled Björk. “I just need to practice my starts. But I took advantage of a small mistake by Tiago to take the lead.”

Björk’s speed in the Volvo was too much for championship leader Monteiro, who spent the rest of the race soaking up pressure from ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Rob Huff. The Briton pressed the Honda hard all the way to the flag to take a third place and the WTCC Trophy beside his runner-up position in the Opening Race earlier in the afternoon.

A safety car period interrupted the race on lap six after Opening Race winner Tom Chilton parked his Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée WTCC at Ascari with driveshaft failure. At the restart two laps later, Bjork put the hammer down to ensure he remained unchallenged, while Monteiro did just enough to keep Huff at bay.

Polestar Cyan Racing’s Nicky Catsburg claimed an untroubled fourth place, while team-mate Nestor Girolami sensationally snatched fifth on the line after a race-long duel with Castrol Honda World Touring Car’s Norbert Michelisz. Girolami chose the outside line for Parabolica on the last lap and used a slingshot effect to drag alongside Michelisz on the exit to just nose in front.

In the wake of Chilton’s retirement, Mehdi Bennanni upheld Sebastien Loeb Racing’s honour with seventh, ahead of Campos Racing’s Chevrolet RML Cruze of Esteban Guerrieri.

Yann Ehrlacher in RC Motorsport’s World Touring Car claimed ninth and Sebastien Loeb Racing driver John Filippi rounded out the top 10, just ahead of Opening Race DHL Pole Position starter Tom Coronel in his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze.

The next WTCC event is the WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Hungary on May 12-14.

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