Volvo aiming for WTCC title assault in 2017 - Bjork

Volvo WTCC driver Thed Bjork reckons the Swedish manufacturer will be ready to challenge for title honours in 2017, after a learning season this year.

Volvo becomes the fourth manufacturer team in WTCC in 2016, joining Citroen, Honda and Lada, with its pair of S60 Polestar TC1 machines that will be driven by Bjork and Fredrik Ekblom.

While the team has extensively prepared for this return, last competing in 2011, its programme is still in its formative years, and three-time Scandinavian Touring Car champion Bjork thinks going for the title in 2016 would be a step too far.

"I think both [the drivers' and the teams'] world championships will not be realistic [in 2016] because [our rivals] have so much more experience than our team," the Swede told

"[The championship] is our goal. That's why we are here, and we want to take it. But it's not the goal in the first year."

Asked if beating the Citroen team that will exit the category at the end of the year was a particular aim, Bjork said: "For me, no. Because I want to win whoever I compete against. It doesn't matter. It's a learning process.

"To me, it doesn't matter. If we can, we can. If we don't, we don't. But then we will go for the title next year."

While Volvo's title ambitions are on hold for the moment, Bjork's teammate Ekblom says he is expecting the team to at least pick up a race victory this season.

"Whenever you go to the starting grid, you want to win," the 2012 TTA series champion told "That will be stupid otherwise, if you don't go for winning.

"But can we do it? I don't know. It depends. But I wouldn't be surprised if we win a race this year."

Manufacturer drive best option after F1

Both Ekblom and Bjork dreamed of getting into Formula 1 earlier in their careers but the Swedish duo believe that the financial security of racing for a manufacturer makes it the second-most attractive option after grand prix racing.

"I think all young drivers want to be in Formula 1. Maybe not all, but 99 percent," said Ekblom. "But very few go there.

"But the second dream for me was to drive for a manufacturer and develop cars and run race cars. So, I'm living my dream, but the second dream.

"So, I think it's the second-best thing after Formula 1 to work with a manufacturer.

"If you want to work with good engineers and develop yourself also, you have to work with a manufacturer. They have the money to spend.on it."

Bjork added: "Formula 1 was the first young dream. We didn't get to Formula 1, we didn't get to DTM. So, it was like: 'okay, forget it.'

"I've been really happy to work with Volvo and Polestar now to live my racing dream."

Interview by Stefan Ziegler

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fredrik Ekblom , Thed Björk
Teams Polestar Cyan Racing
Article type Interview