Polestar Racing will enter one Volvo C30 for the full 2011 World Touring Car Championship season, as an evaluation process for an official Volvo entry from 2012. Volvo have given the green light to to the Swedish team to run the one car in all of the races, with Robert Dahlgren on driving duties.
Polestar, who have been an official partner to Volvo Motorsport since 1996, have entered the WTCC on several occasions since their home race at Anderstorp in 2007. This has fuelled speculation recently that Volvo have been looking at entering the series as a full manufacturer.
Volvo have a strong history in touring cars, having won the European Touring Car Championship in 1985 with the 240 Turbo and the British Touring Car Championship in 1998 with the S40, having previously campaigned the iconic 850 estate model. More recently, Volvo and Polestar have been competing in the Swedish Touring Car Championship, which they won with driver Tommy Rustad in 2009. Dahlgren is currently on course to win this season's championship, which concludes this weekend (October 2nd).
Polestar and Dahlgren will also appear at the next round of the World Touring Car Championship, at Okayama in Japan, in preparation for their full season in 2011. The pairing have already appeared at the Brands Hatch round of the series earlier this year.
Christian Dahl, Managing Director for Polestar Racing said: “We are very happy and proud for this vote of confidence. This will be a challenge for us but we have prepared for this for several years. Our organization is in place and we have already started with preparations.”
The priority of Polestar's involvement in 2011 will be to provide Volvo with a technical and commercial base to be able to finalise an official Volvo entry for 2012. Magnus Jonsson, Volvo Cars Senior Vice President of Product Development and chairman of the Motorsport Board, said: “Volvo has a solid touring car racing tradition and we see a potential now for converting this into a global commercial tool from 2012 through WTCC. It is vital the technical and commercial aspects of the series align with our ambitions and this is what Polestar is out to confirm for us in 2011.”
Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography