Polestar Racing, official Volvo Motorsport partner since 1996, were given the green light by Volvo Cars to enter a C30 car for Robert Dahlgren in the 2011 WTCC season.
According to Volvo’s press release "Racing results in 2011, however important, will be second priority. Polestar’s first and foremost task is to evaluate the car and the championship to provide Volvo Cars with a technical and commercial base to finalize an official Volvo entry from 2012."
"We are very happy and proud for this vote of confidence. It will be a challenge for us but we have been prepared for this for several years. Our organization is in place and we have already started the preparation," said Christian Dahl, Managing Director at Polestar Racing.
Volvo has won titles in the 1985 European Touring Car Championship, the 1998 British Touring Car Championship and more recently in the Swedish and Scandinavian Touring Car Championships. Now the Swedish manufacturer is set to take the first step towards a comeback to international motorsport.
"Volvo has a long standing tradition in touring car racing and through the WTCC we see a potential for converting this into a global commercial tool from 2012. It is vital that technical and commercial aspects of the series align with our ambitions and this is what Polestar will answer for us in 2011," explained Magnus Jonsson, Volvo Cars Senior Vice President of Product Development and chairman of the Motorsport Board.
The Volvo C30 of Robert Dahlgren during this year’s WTCC event at Brands Hatch
WTCC General Manager Marcello Lotti commented: "It is with the greatest satisfaction that we welcome Volvo’s participation in the 2011 WTCC. They supported us back in 2002 when we launched the FIA S2000 class in the European Touring Car Championship, and now they are back again the moment we adopt new technical rules, which shows their trust in the FIA and our organization. To have such an important brand backing WTCC in these difficult times for motorsport is a big boost for all of us, and I am confident that Volvo’s move will have a positive impact on those car manufacturers that have showed interest in joining the championship."
Meanwhile Volvo and Polestar remain focused on the end of the current season. Freshly crowned Scandinavian champion, Dahlgren can clinch a second consecutive Swedish Touring Car Championship title this weekend at Mantorp Park before making his second WTCC appearance of the year at Okayama.
The Volvo S60 took part in the 2002 and 2003 European Touring Car Championship
CHEVROLET CONFIRMS DRIVER LINE UP FOR 2011
Chevrolet and RML announced the driver line-up for the 2011 FIA World Touring Car Championship, which remains unchanged: Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Yvan Muller will be the drivers at the wheel of the new Cruze 1.6 turbo cars.
Chevrolet Motorsport director Eric Nève explained: "Stability has always been one of the key features of our WTCC programme. To confirm our three drivers was the obvious choice, as we really have a terrific trio and Rob, Alain and Yvan have done a great job this year, on and off the track. We are happy to make this announcement today, as it will certainly give our drivers and the entire team a psychological boost ahead of the decisive final stint of the championship as well as extra motivation to carry on the intense program of development of the new Cruze that has already begun".
Muller, Huff and Menu are currently first, fourth and sixth in the Drivers‘ Championship.
Huff, Muller and Menu will be racing for Chevrolet again in the 2011 WTCC
TOP CARS REMAIN ON MAXIMUM WEIGHTS
The fastest cars remain on the maximum compensation weight for the next race meeting in Okayama.
Taking into account the fastest lap times set in Brno, Oschersleben and Valencia, the Chevrolet Cruze, BMW 320si and SEAT León TDI will carry 40 extra kilos on board as in the four previous events. The same ballast will be imposed to the Volvo C30 that makes its WTCC comeback following Brands Hatch.
All the other cars – the BMW 320si either in old specs or equipped with the 6-speed sequential gearbox, the Chevrolet Lacetti and the petrol-powered SEAT León TFSI – will have 20kg deducted from their minimum weight.
PRIAULX TO RACE IN USA AND AUSTRALIA
Andy Priaulx has an action packed few weeks ahead of the final two WTCC rounds.
This weekend he is taking part in the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, Georgia, in a BMW M3 GT2 run by the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team; he will share the car with Dirk Müller and Joey Hand.
After this Priaulx will fly to Surfers Paradise, Australia, for the Gold Coast 600, which is part of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship and takes place on 24th October. He will be at the wheel of a Holden Commodore entered by Triple Eight Engineering.
Three other WTCC drivers will race at Surfers Paradise: Alain Menu, Yvan Muller and Tiago Monteiro.
MONTEIRO GIVES A RIDE TO HIS CO-DRIVER
Australian V8 Supercars racer Tony D’Alberto attended the WTCC event in Valencia as a guest of Tiago Monteiro, who will be his co-driver in the Gold Coast 600 race for Centaur Racing.
D’Alberto was especially impressed by Monteiro’s victory in the second Spanish race and he also had the opportunity of riding as a passenger in the Portuguese’s race car.
"It was amazing," he said. "Usually I’m in the driver’s seat so to get a ride with Tiago on a track I didn’t know was a real thrill, so I really enjoyed that!"