Volvo Car Australia announced it will be on the V8 Supercars Championship grid in 2014 and ready to race. As the first luxury car brand to join the V8 Supercars Championship with a factory team, Volvo Car Australia has joined forces with Volvo Car Groupâ€™s global motorsport partner Polestar to go racing.
Together, they will partner with the well-respected Garry Rogers Motorsport team to form Volvo Polestar Racing, the first formalised factory team from a luxury car brand.
The announcement was made in Brisbane today by Matt Braid, Volvo Car Australia Managing Director; James Warburton, V8 Supercars CEO; Mark Skaife, V8 Supercars Commission Chairman; Garry Rogers, owner of Garry Rogers Motorsport; Christian Dahl, Managing Director and owner of Polestar; and Vice President International of Volvo Car Group, Thomas Andersson.
â€œIâ€™m delighted to announce our return to motorsport in Australia,â€ said Matt Braid.
â€œVolvo has a rich motorsport heritage in this country, including winning Australiaâ€™s most famous race, Bathurst, 15 years ago this coming October.
â€œAs the first luxury car brand to enter a factory team in the V8 Supercars Championship, weâ€™re determined to add to this heritage, while strengthening the presence of the S60 model line and the Volvo brand here in Australia.â€
James Warburton, CEO, V8 Supercars, said of the announcement:
â€œTo have another prestigious brand like Volvo in our sport is a red letter day for V8 Supercars. The strength of V8 Supercars is such that global brands, not limited to car manufacturers, are becoming increasingly aware of and directly involved in the business.
â€œIt is my vision to build V8 Supercars into one of the strongest brands in the world with the partners to match. That is the level of untapped potential I believe this sport has.
â€œI am extremely delighted to have Volvo in our sport and congratulate Garry and his team on becoming the official Volvo factory team in V8 Supercars.â€
Volvo Polestar Racing is a partnership between Volvo Car Australia, Polestar and Garry Rogers Motorsport, and it will be the official Volvo factory racing team.
Derek Crabb, Executive Motorsport Director of Volvo Car Group said of the announcement:
â€œPolestar has been Volvo Car Groupâ€™s global performance and motorsport partner since 1996, and has campaigned Volvos in the World Touring Car Championship, the European Touring Car Championship and, currently, the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship.
â€œWe are extremely happy to see Polestar enter this collaboration with Garry Rogers Motorsport for Volvo Car Australia.â€
The Swedish team will produce the V8 engine and assist Garry Rogers Motorsport in the development of the V8 Supercars campaign.
Polestar owner Christian Dahl said of the announcement:
â€œWe are very proud and excited to take on the V8 Supercars together with Volvo Car Australia and Garry Rogers Motorsport, a championship that has grown to become one of the most prestigious and competitive racing championships in the world.
â€œPolestar will do our absolute best to add Volvo knowledge, engineering and development strengths to the already competent team at Garry Rogers Motorsport.â€
Volvo Car Australia and Polestar are investing significant capital and resources into Garry Rogers Motorsport, who will produce and race two V8 Supercars based on the production S60 road car.
Garry Rogers said of the announcement:
â€œFor 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. And I know that if we continue to work hard it will also become very rewarding.
â€œThe opportunity to align ourselves with Volvo, one of the worldâ€™s most recognised brands, and team up with Christian Dahl and Polestar, is first class.
â€œI 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.
â€œMost 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.â€
Volvo Car Australia has a rich heritage of motorsport in Australia, having won the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship in 1986 with Robbie Francevic in a Volvo 240T.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Volvo winning Australiaâ€™s most famous race, the Bathurst 1000 in 1998 with Jim Richards and Rickard Rydell in a Volvo S40.
Mark Skaife, Chairman, V8 Supercars Commission, said of the announcement:
â€œWe have stated on numerous occasions that the mass appeal of V8 Supercars at a domestic and global level would entice manufacturers from around the world.
â€œVolvo has a very proud heritage in motorsport in this country, dating back to the 1960s. Robbie Francevic won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1986 in a Volvo 240T, breaking the stranglehold of the BMWs. His factory team-mate that year was John Bowe.
â€œPeople may also forget that two of Australiaâ€™s greatest ever drivers, Peter Brock and Jim Richards, were highly successful with Volvo.
â€œWith Nissan and Mercedes-Benz AMG joining Ford and Holden on the grid this year, I am sure Volvo will become competitive very quickly, particularly under Garryâ€™s leadership, in 2014.â€