Thed Björk is one of the best and most successful touring car drivers from Sweden. Most recently, he won the 2017 World Touring Car Championship, achieving that with Volvo Polestar.
Earlier in a career, he won three consecutive Scandinavian Touring Car Championship titles with Volvo between 2013 and 2015. In 2006, he was Swedish touring car champion with Audi.
Switch from karting to formula racing
Thed Björk was born on December 14, 1980, in Vretstorp, Orebro County, and as a teenager competed in karting. In 1994 Thed was 3rd in the Tom Trana Formula Mini Trophy, while in the following year Bjork finished 3rd in the Nordic Championship C class. Thed’s biggest success was in 1997, his last year in karting when he won Swedish Championship National C title.
Bjork tried to make his name in the single-seaters, so in 1998 he entered Formula 3 Nordic Championship. His rookie season in formula racing was pretty good after he won one race and finished 4th overall. In 1999 Bjork won both Swedish and Nordic Formula 3 Championship titles. His performances were particularly well in the Nordic Championship as he won 5 out of 8 races and had other two podium finishes.
Departure to the US
A bit surprisingly, Thed moved to the United States in 2000 and competed in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, but the results weren’t especially good, so he finished 10th in the final standings. He stayed in the single-seaters for a while, but since 2001 he turned more attention to the sports cars racing.
His focus in 2001 was FIA Sportscar Championship class SR2. Bjork was in fine form and won the title after scoring four wins driving a Lola-Nissan B2K/40. Thed also was 3rd in the Swedish GTR Championship, winning four out of 12 races, but also appeared in the Grand American Rolex Series, French Formula 3, and Swedish Touring Car Championship.
Le Mans 24h debut
In 2002 Bjork made his only appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driving for Courage Competition alongside Didier Cottaz and Boris Derichebourg, he finished 15th overall and 11th in LMP900 class. The same year he also drove in selected races of the FIA Sportscar Championship and Formula 3000 International but without too much success.
Finally, in 2003 Thed for the last time raced in open-wheels categories. He drove in four races of Formula Renault V6 Eurocup and when opportunities to find another engagement in single-seaters dried up, he definitely switched to touring cars. The same year he became Swedish GTR champion after he has won all of nine races.
Start of the touring cars racing career
Since 2004, touring cars racing is Thed’s main occupation. He made six appearances in the Swedish Touring Car Championship with West Coast Racing’s BMW 320i and scored two podiums before finishing 11th in the points.
Driving the same car for the same team, Bjork in 2005 was STCC runner-up. He won the races at Knutstorp and Karlskoga and had four other podiums before finishing the season 28 points behind champion Richard Goransson.
Bjork won the 2006 STCC title
In 2006 Bjork moved to Kristoffersson Motorsport what proved to be a perfect decision. Driving an Audi A4 he became the Swedish Touring Car champion with three wins, six podiums, two fastest laps, and two pole positions on his account. This title was his first and last in the series but over the years he was established as one of the best drivers in the STCC.
The same year Thed also competed in the last two races of DTM season, driving a Futurecom’s Audi, and also won the pole position for Schubert Motors in 24 Hours of Dubai.
Always among the frontrunners
Bjork spent another four years driving in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. In 2008, driving a Honda Civic, Thed finished 3rd in the Drivers’ championship, while in 2009 he was 2nd driving a Flash Engineering’s BMW 320si E90. That year he lost title battle with Tommy Rustad. The two drivers scored same number of points, but Norwegian had more wins.
During his last four years in the STCC, Bjork scored six wins out of 57 races, 24 podium finishes, two pole positions, and 11 fastest laps.
Thed Björk won two trophies in 2012
In 2012 Thed drove in the Camaro Cup Sweden and immediately won the title with five wins on his account. He also debuted in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship with Team Biogas and scored 12 points out of two races what was a good preparation for the following year.
Since 2013, Thed Bjork is Volvo factory driver and began his partnership with Polestar Cyan Racing team. He won the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship title in the first attempt, scoring 8 wins out of 12 races, driving a Volvo S60 Solution F.
The winning streak continues
In 2014 Bjork added another STCC title to his collection. This time he wasn’t as superior as in the previous campaign but three wins and other two podiums were enough to bring him a second title in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship.
Thed won the third consecutive title in 2015 and again it was in great style. He won 5 out of 14 races and had a total of 10 podiums, with five pole positions and six fastest laps in addition. That was his last year in the series as he was prepared for the higher level of racing.
Start of the WTCC career
In 2013 Bjork made a single appearance in the World Touring Cars Championship but in 2016 he drove a full season after Volvo decided to enter the series. Naming Thed as one of the drivers was logical and the Swede quickly lived up to expectations.
In the first race in China at Shanghai International Circuit, Bjork scored his and the team’s maiden victory in the WTCC and also finished 2nd in the season-closing event in Qatar before finishing 10th in the Drivers’ championship.
World touring car champion in 2017
In 2017, just two factory teams (Volvo Polestar and Honda) were fighting in the WTCC, plus several private teams. Thed Björk scored two wins over the season and fought for the championship title against Honda's Norbert Michelisz until the last round at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Björk entered season's finale with 6.5-point advantage over Michelisz, being better than Hungarian driver in both races and taking the world's title.
Successful cooperation with Yvan Muller
In 2018, Bjork stayed in the world's premier touring car competition, now under the name WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup. He joined Yvan Muller in his team M.Racing-YMR to drive the #11 Hyundai i30 N TCR. Bjork was a race winner four times, ending the season seventh in the points. The team took Teams' championship title.
For the 2019 WTCR season, it was announced that Bjork and Muller would be teammates again but, this time, in the Swedish Cyan Racing team.