Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC: Bjork wins opener for Polestar Volvo

Polestar Volvo's Thed Bjork took his second World Touring Car Championship victory of the 2017 season in the opening race at the Nurburgring Nordschleife

Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC: Bjork wins opener for Polestar Volvo

Bjork had started sixth for the reversed grid race, but a rapid start propelled him to fourth as he squeezed between Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel when the lights went out.

A poor start from front row starter Esteban Guerrieri meant Bjork was running third by the time the WTCC grid went through the first corner.

A duel between polesitter Nestor Girolami and Mehdi Bennani involved a touch of wheels at the start, allowing Bjork to sit close behind them.

Bjork had to wait until the two mile straight at the end of the opening lap to slipstream his way past Bennani and into second, before repeating the feat on the second tour to wrestle the lead from Girolami.

The Volvo driver then ran unchallenged to the flag ahead of Bennani, with Girolami's race ruined by a puncture that forced him into the barriers and elevated the privateer Munnich Motorsport Citroen of Rob Huff into third.

Huff worked his way up the grid from eighth with a series of impressive passes and moved clear of Chilton for the final podium place on the last lap.

Fifth went the way of Guerrieri, who progressively slipped down the order after a poor start from second.

Nicky Catsburg won the duel for sixth in his Volvo after defending resolutely from the Honda of Norbert Michelisz and ROAL Motorsport's Tom Coronel.

Yann Ehrlacher was ninth ahead of Sebastien Loeb Racing's John Filippi and the Honda of Ryo Michigami.

The third works Honda of championship leader Tiago Monteiro struggled for pace throughout the race and picked up a puncture late on that left him last on the road.

RESULTS - 3 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 26m24.961s
2 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2.538s
3 Rob Huff Munnich Motorsport Citroen 3.096s
4 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 3.732s
5 Esteban Guerrieri Campos Racing Chevrolet 8.487s
6 Nicky Catsburg Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 8.910s
7 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 16.496s
8 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 16.796s
9 Yann Ehrlacher RC Motorsport Lada 19.481s
10 John Filippi Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 22.889s
11 Ryo Michigami Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 23.380s
12 Kevin Gleason RC Motorsport Lada 24.118s
13 Aurelien Panis Zengo Motorsport Honda 34.158s
14 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda 35.457s
15 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 5m14.304s
- Nestor Girolami Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo Retirement


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