Volvo confirms V8 Supercar entry from 2014
Swedish manufacturer Volvo has confirmed it will partner with established team Garry Rogers Motorsport to enter V8 Supercars from 2014.
Volvo made the announcement at the launch of the Polestar road-going version of the S60 sedan in Brisbane this morning – Polestar being the manufacturer's performance division.
The team will be known as Volvo Polestar Racing, thanks to the partnership between Volvo Car Australia, Polestar and Garry Rogers Motorsport with funding coming from Volvo Car Australia.
Garry Rogers Motorsport will run two S60-bodied Volvos from 2014, in a deal said to be worth approximately $7 million per season on an initial four-year deal.
Volvo will update one of its own 4.4-litre B8444S V8 engines previously used in the S80 model to power the S60 entries, rather than use V8 Supercars' unbranded five-litre powerplants.
“I’m delighted to announce our return to motorsport in Australia,” said Matt Braid, Volvo Car Australia Managing Director.
“Volvo has a rich motorsport heritage in this country, including winning Australia’s most famous race, Bathurst, 15 years ago this coming October.
“As the first luxury car brand to enter a factory team in the V8 Supercars Championship, we’re determined to add to this heritage, while strengthening the presence of the S60 model line and the Volvo brand here in Australia.”
The team, currently running Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat in Fujitsu-backed Holden Commodores, will have factory backing and technical support from Polestar, who also runs Volvo's Scandinavian Touring Car Championship campaign with the S60.
Rogers hinted at the announcement that he will have an unchanged driver line-up next season, with contracts believed to be in place for Frenchman Premat and rising star McLaughlin to extend their stay with the team.
Volvo has a successful history in Australian touring car racing, having won the 1986 title with Robbie Francevic in the Group A era, while the Swedish make claimed the 1998 Super Touring Bathurst 1000 victory with Jim Richards and Swede Rickard Rydell.
The deal ends Garry Rogers Motorsport's 17-year association with Holden, which started with a single-car entry upon entering the then Australian Touring Car Championship in 1996, though the team ran Alfa Romeos, Nissans, Hondas, BMWs and more during its Super Touring stint and in owner Garry Rogers' own racing career.
“For myself and all our staff and sponsors who have been with us for a considerable time, the opportunity to utilise the Car of the Future regulations to introduce Volvo to our category is certainly very exciting," said Rogers.
"And I know that if we continue to work hard it will also become very rewarding. The opportunity to align ourselves with Volvo, one of the world’s most recognised brands, and team up with Christian Dahl and Polestar, is first class.
“I am still a racer at heart and the big plus of this relationship that impressed me more than others manufacturers I had spoken to was the fact these people had done their homework on the Car of the Future rules and regulations, and could see the commercial opportunities that this offered.
“Most heartening of all, I am dealing with people who understand racing from an engineering perspective and the personal, day-to-day matters you need to have experienced to achieve success.”
Volvo is the second factory-backed manufacturer to enter V8 Supercars under the Car of the Future regulations, following Nissan's entry in 2013, increasing the number of makes in the series to five in 2014.
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