Polestar Racing will take to the track this weekend in Curitiba, Brazil, as they embark on their first full season competing in the World Touring Car Championship.
With the support of long-time partner Volvo Cars, the Swedish team have entered a single car entry for Robert Dahlgren. Following a handful of occasional WTCC appearances over recent seasons, 2011 will act as a commercial and technical evaluation for Volvo as it considers a full-time entry into the championship.
“Volvo Cars has given us a sound mission to evaluate the championship, meaning that we are initially not focusing on results but rather on preparing a base that we could build upon for 2012,” said Polestar Racing Managing Director Christian Dahl. “We have got an exciting and rewarding challenge ahead of us.”
Polestar has won the Swedish Touring Car Championship, in 2009, and the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, in 2010, with the Volvo C30 DRIVe. Despite being a proven winner in touring car racing, significant development work is needed for the step to the WTCC.
Firstly the team must adapt the car for the circuits featured on the WTCC calendar, most of which will be new for them. Also, new regulations have seen the introduction of the 1.6 litre turbocharged engine, which could be ready for use in the C30 from as early as Round 2 at Zolder, Belgium.
“We are starting the season with our current two litre engine, before later in the year switching to an all-new 1.6 turbo engine, based on a completely new Volvo engine family,” said Dahl. “We are currently working flat out with the new engine and we are confident of our progress.”
Dahlgren added: “I am very much looking forward to the season start. The first race of the year is by no means going to be easy, especially with the high level of competition and the fact that we are new to the championship. But we have got a solid programme and we are ready.”
The Curitiba weekend will see the Volvo C30 decked out in a new light blue livery, replacing the green used in previous seasons. The new paint scheme reflects the corporate colour of Polestar, which was also featured on the Volvo C30 Polestar concept car that made a recent appearance on TV's Top Gear.