The past year didn't look too bright for the World Touring Car Championship. First BMW cut its program down from three works teams to one, then reports came in indicating that Seat – fresh from back-to-back titles – was scaling down its factory-backed team as well. But the latest reports give those behind the premier tin-top series something to smile about as Volvo announces its plans to mount an assault on the championship over the next couple of seasons.
The news comes on the back of the Swedish Touring Car Championship which the local automaker – fielded by Polestar and driven by Robert Dahlgren – seized this past weekend at Mantorp Park. With little in the way of an off-season, the 2011 STCC season is set to begin in just a couple of months. But while Volvo and Polestar prepare to defend their title, the two will also be participating in select rounds of the big league championship next season as well.
Polestar and Dahlgren will also be behind the WTCC effort, campaigning the ethanol-powered C30 DRIVe touring car, but while the BMW, Seat and Chevrolet-powered teams fix their eyes on the prize, the Volvo entry will be oriented primarily towards evaluating the series with an eye towards a full Volvo works entry the following season. Details in the press release after the jump.
Volvo Polestar won the STCC Team Championship title. The green C30 is now Volvos most successful race car to date.
In front of over 30,000 spectators at Mantorp Park, Volvo and Polestar secured the 2010 STCC Team Championship title after a must-do win through Tommy Rustad in the second heat. Robert Dahlgren made the podium too with a second place finish in the first heat. This was enough to put Dahlgren in an overall second place in this year's STCC driver's championship to go along with his Scandinavian title for drivers he claimed just two weeks ago.
Four out of five possible titles the last two years
The ethanol powered Volvo C30 DRIVe STCC car has now secured the top spot as Volvos most successful race car to date. Developed locally with Polestar, the car begun claiming poles and victories already in its maiden season in 2008. In the last two STCC-seasons, the car has claimed 70% of all poles, 40% of all race wins, two STCC Team titles, one STCC Drivers title and one Scandinavian Drivers title.
"This is a very proud moment for everyone at Volvo and Polestar. We have achieved this because the C30 is a very good car to begin with and because we have worked as a team and kept pushing forward both when challenged and when successful" said Derek Crabb, Volvo Cars Motorsport Director.
STCC and WTCC in 2011
Volvo and Polestar are now busy preparing for next season which actually starts in less than a month. Polestar will participate in the World Touring Car Championship in Okayama, Japan on October 31. This race is an introduction to the full 2011 WTCC season Volvo recently requested Polestar to do in order to evaluate the series. Parallel, Volvo and Polestar is also set to defend and chase new STCC titles in 2011.