With the Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 confirmed as the machine that will represent the Swedish manufacturer in the 2016 season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, one of the points that still needed to be solved was the pair of drivers that will conduct the Swedish campaign. As predicted, Volvo and Polestar Cyan Racing will rely on home talent to achieve the results they want.
And by home talent isn’t only in the Swedish side, but most specifically from the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship side, as title grabbers Thed Björk and Fredrik Ekblom were the guys selected to the task.
From both drivers you can count lots of titles on home soil and some international experience. Ekblom has three titles from the touring car phase of the STCC, while Björk has one title from that time and is the current title holder in the silhouette era of the competition since the merger with the TTA Elite League. Both drivers had expressive results in international competitions, as three ETCC podiums in 2002 count in favor of Ekblom while the 2001 FIA Sportscar Championship title in the SR2 speaks for Björk.
About WTCC experience, both Björk and Ekblom aren’t necessarily rookies, but their few races in the globe-trotting competition would count as expressive, as Ekblom has more starts (6) and has the best result, with a ninth place finish at Macau. Björk’s try at the WTCC lasted two races in China, but it was the last time that the Swedish brand competed in WTCC, still in the S2000 regulations, and if you stop to think, 2013 isn’t that far from today.
Curious fact is that Ekblom and Björk were recent rivals, as Björk lifted his third straight STCC title with only ten points and a race win ahead of Ekblom. With their switch to WTCC, the responsibility of guiding Volvo to another STCC title will be in the hands of Volvo’s former WTCC and V8 Supercars driver Robert Dahlgren.