With three 2019 wins to his name in a Geely Group Motorsport-developed Lynk & Co 03 TCR, Thed Björk is the best-placed of the four drivers racing the Chinese-powered machines in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO entering part two of the season.
This is what the Swede – the 2017 FIA World Touring Car champion – has said ahead of WTCR Race of China at the Ningbo International Speedpark from 13-15 September.
How big will the WTCR Race of China weekend be for you and your team?
“It’s going to be big, it’s our home event and when it’s the home event it’s always very important and we hope as many people as possible from Lynk & Co in China will be watching us. It’s going to be a nice weekend, the expectation is high and you want to do a good race for this reason.”
This will be your third season racing at Ningbo. What do you think of the track?
“It’s very technical but there are some good places for overtaking and I like it. I believe the races will be good and that’s also important for the people who will come to watch. We’ve had some changing weather in the past and that can mean even more action. With the title battle so tight, it’s going to be really interesting.”
With your last race on a street track in early July and this race taking place on a permanent circuit in mid-September, how have you kept fit and focused?
“It’s easy! July was one month of holiday but when August came it was back to business again. The preparation started with testing, sim-driving, looking at the season behind you. Doing some go-karting was another good way to prepare and then there are the times you spend looking at the on-boards and taking part in the technical meetings, everything you can do to get in the mood.”
As one of the title contenders heading into part two of the season, how important is your previous experience of being in similar situations before?
“I want to be the winning the title, that’s what I aim for, but to do that you have to do a really good job together with your team. We have to take advantage of what we have learned during the first part of the season as a team with a brand-new car to be stronger at the end. That’s the goal.”
Given that you are in year one of this project with Cyan Racing and Geely Group Motorsport, did you expect to be in this situation, fighting for the title?
“Looking at the races we have had, my victories felt so good, but you also need to show a lot of respect coming into this series with a new car. I was really hoping and wanting to be fighting for the top. But before [the first race in] Marrakech none of us new that could be possible. We are in a good position for the first year, we have learned a lot and I hope we can keep the positive momentum going to do a good end. But all the drivers want this.”
It’s a long way from Sweden, where you live, to China so how do you cope with the flight?
“With my physical training I try to be as well prepared as possible before each race, mentally as well. For China it’s important to land a few days before you get busy with the race weekend just to get in the right time zone. This usually works well for me. On a long flight I usually eat then try to sleep but there will be one movie before I do go to sleep.”