Volvo withdraws factory involvement in V8 Supercars for 2017

Volvo's participation in V8 Supercars beyond 2016 is in jeopardy after its factory motorsport arm Polestar decided not to renew its contract with the series

Volvo withdraws factory involvement in V8 Supercars for 2017

Garry Rogers Motorsport has run Polestar and Volvo's programme in Australia's leading motorsport championship since 2014.

But on Wednesday Polestar announced that it would not extend its three-year deal when it expires at the end of this season.

Polestar chief operating officer Niels Moller said: "We have enjoyed a good co-operation with Garry Rogers Motorsport and the championship organisers, but our strategy and business objectives require us now to focus our attention to other technologies and championships in the near future.

"We will of course support the programme in order to achieve the best possible sporting results in 2016, however, we feel it is fair to all involved that we can provide a heads-up ahead of 2017 as early as possible.

"We would like to extend our gratitude to all involved parties in the programme and wish them the very best for the future."

Polestar's exit will coincide with the series - which is dropping the V8 element of its name - switching to a new technical package known as 'Gen2 Supercar'.

It also comes after Volvo returned to the World Touring Car Championship this year with a two-car works team run by Polestar under the Cyan Racing banner.

V8 series chief James Warburton is optimistic a deal can be reached to maintain a Volvo presence in the championship.

"It is a disappointing decision by Polestar especially given the positive discussions being held locally about Volvo's continued involvement in the series," he said.

"However we understand that ultimately this was a global decision.

"We have really enjoyed the association with Volvo and the success they have enjoyed in Supercars.

"Garry Rogers Motorsport has indicated that it is committed to race Volvos in the 2016 and 2017 seasons and we will continue to have discussions with Volvo Car Australia about its ongoing involvement in the sport."

GRM's lead driver Scott McLaughlin achieved fifth in the championship in the Volvo S60's first season in 2014, and won both races in the most recent series round at Phillip Island last month - moving to within 15 points of leader Jamie Whincup in the process.

The V8 series' long Holden/Ford monopoly ended in recent years with the arrival of works Volvo and Nissan programmes plus Erebus-run Mercedes.

But Erebus switched back to Holdens for 2016, and Ford ended factory support of its V8 teams at the end of last year.

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