Super-fast street race Vila Real brings Polestar Cyan Racing fourth MAC3 victory
The super-fast street race Vila Real, Portugal, brought Polestar Cyan Racing their fourth FIA World Touring Car Championship MAC3 victory of 2017 during qualifying day, extending the manufacturers’ points lead over main rivals Honda.
Thed Björk was fastest of the Polestar Cyan Racing drivers in the final Q3 session to claim third on the grid.
“I have a good feeling with the speed that I have, especially as we have 30 kilos more than Honda. It is a really big challenge to drive at this circuit, with blind corners between guardrails at over 200 km/h. But the team has done a great job with my car and we are in a good position for the races tomorrow,” said Thed Björk.
Nicky Catsburg ended up in fifth position in Q3 after suffering from a vibration issue.
“Unfortunately, I went wide in one of the chicanes and damaged the floor of the car, causing the vibration. The Hondas were a bit too fast in qualifying, but that was to be expected. This has still been a good day, especially with our MAC3 victory and I think we have a good chance of scoring a lot of points tomorrow,” said Nicky Catsburg.
Néstor Girolami was again struck with bad luck after hitting a patch of oil and touching the barriers. The incident caused front end damage to his car, with the mechanics pulling off a great effort to repair his car during qualifying. The repairs enabled the Argentinian to make it onto Q2 where he finished ninth, meaning second place on the grid for the reversed grid race.
“I hit some oil in Q1, locked my front tyres and just went into the barriers. I thought it to be impossible, but team did an awesome job to get me back out again. We scored an important result for the manufacturers’ championship with our MAC3 win and starting from the front row for the first race is really good,” said Néstor Girolami.
The MAC3 victory has Volvo in the lead by 422 points compared to Honda’s 379.
“We are really happy about the result in MAC3. We had a fantastic weekend at the Nürburgring a month ago and we are paying for that now with the extra weight. With that in mind, this has been a good day and we hope to get even more from tomorrow,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
WTCC Race of Portugal
Circuit: Circuito Internacional de Vila Real
Length: 4785 m
Lap record (WTCC): 1:58.385 (Huff)
1 Volvo 4:05.355
2 Honda +3.992
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 1:55.846
2 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.684
3 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +1.073
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic +3.094
5 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 no time
Q2 – Top 5
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 1:56.227
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.170
3 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.550
4 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.594
5 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +0.941
9 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +2.220
Q1 – Top 5
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 1:57.010
2 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.323
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic +0.477
4 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée +1.096
5 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +1.134
7 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +1.334
11 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +2.473
Drivers’ – Top 5
1 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 128 pts
2 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 127 (-1)
3 Thed Björk Volvo S60 122 (-6)
4 Tom Chilton Citroën C-Elysée 106 (-22)
4 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée 106 (-22)
9 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 52 (-76)
1 Volvo 420 pts
2 Honda 379 (-41)
Compensation weights for Portugal
Model – Time difference – Weight
Volvo S60 Polestar – 0.0 sec – +80 kg
Citroën C-Elysée – 0.0 sec – +80 kg
Honda Civic – +0.3 sec – +50 kg
Chevrolet Cruze – +0.6 sec – +20 kg
Lada Vesta +1.2 sec – +0 kg