Let's play a little word association game here. When I say "Volvo", what comes to mind? Swedish. Safety. Soccer moms. Station wagons. But racing?
Granted, Volvo is not one of the better-known names in motorsport, but the company has been competing for the last couple of seasons in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. Volvo Motorsport actually took the first two championships of the series in 1996 and 1997, and came back to the series last year with an E85 ethanol-powered C30, campaigned by Polestar Racing AB. Although the green racing hatch has yet to reclaim the national title for Volvo, it has won a couple of races against conventionally-fueled competitors from the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Opel. The Swedish automaker has now decided to bring the vehicle up a level to the World Touring Car Championship when the series comes to Brands Hatch in the UK next weekend. It will be interesting to see how the E85 Volvo will fare against the diesel-powered Seats and the other gasoline-powered regulars in the WTCC, however Volvo's entry will be strictly for exhibition and not eligible for points. Press release after the jump and images in the gallery below.
Related GalleryVolvo C30 Green Racer
Volvo enters the World Touring Car Championship race at legendary Brands Hatch
Robert Dahlgren returns to his old training ground, driving Volvos new C30 Green Racer
Volvo Car Corporation has decided to enter its new ethanol powered Volvo C30 racer in the WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) at Brands Hatch on the 26 - 27:th of July.
The car, which is in its first year on track, races in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) as the only ethanol E85 powered car in that series. In STCC, the car has so far secured three out of seven pole positions and has lead close to half of all laps driven.
Now Volvo wants to evaluate the car against the strongest of competition on the circuit at legendary Brands Hatch, Kent, England.
"We are naturally excited to come to Brands Hatch. This race was on the "to-do-list" in our plan for the C30 from start. We wanted this as a check point to see how far we have come against the best," says Derek Crabb, Motorsport Director at Volvo Car Corporation. We are climbing up the development curve of this car and we strongly believe the Volvo C30 may become a very competitive car in any FIA Super 2000 championship. However, it important to stay pragmatic and do things in the right order.
Equally thrilled is the driver, Robert Dahlgren:
"It will be fantastic to race at Brands Hatch again. I spent most of my youth in Britain and have driven all the tracks in different formula series. I also won the Formula Ford Championship there in 2001 and was the first privateer to do so in 18 years. It will be exiting to come back, but this time as a works driver for Volvo and in the exiting new C30."
The car will be operated by Volvo official motorsport partner Polestar Racing AB, who is also both developing and running the same car in STCC. Volvo will race with Ethanol E85 in the tank and will not be eligible to race for points.