Polestar Volvo poised to ramp up WTCC development programme

The Polestar World Touring Car Championship team is expecting a step forward in performance when it introduces an additional Volvo S60 for testing

Polestar Volvo poised to ramp up WTCC development programme

Despite failing a handful of technical checks in the opening three rounds of the season, the manufacturer-backed team has made a solid start to life in the WTCC, with both Thed Bjork and Fredrik Ekblom securing top-five finishes.

But the team has so far been competing with a shortage of spare parts and without a back-up test car, which has limited its development schedule.

Having found its feet in the championship, Polestar's head of motorsport Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin told Autosport that the introduction of the test car - which is expected to be ready before next month's Vila Real round and subsequent mid-season break - will allow the team to overcome its weaknesses.

"It's not far off," he said of plans to introduce the test car.

"Just going out testing is one thing but to have quality testing you need to have specific issues that you want to look at.

"It's not just having a car ready, it's a case of having the car ready and having a few questions to explore.

"The more you race, the more you begin to understand which areas you need to look in to. It's a natural process.

"Had we had a development car ready for race one, I don't think we would have used it a lot anyway because you need to acquire some data. That's the basis of further testing.

"We've still got a completely new car out of the box - if it doesn't [improve], then we're not doing something correct."

Murdzveski-Schedvin added that Bjork and Ekblom would be likely to get their hands on the test car first, but that Robert Dahlgren - who was part of the squad's initial development line-up when the WTCC project was launched - was also in line to carry out duties.

Ekblom said that while a lack of testing before the start of the season had hindered the team, he too was expecting the test car to bring progress.

"The team could have chosen to go for one year of testing like Citroen did," he said, "or they thought 'well, we might as well do the championship' because you learn more then, so we can be really prepared for 2017.

"We developed the car last year but that was basic testing and design stuff so we didn't do any set-up testing.

"And then they built the two cars over the winter before we went to the first race.

"We only had two test days in Vallelunga, so we haven't really tested the car a lot set-up-wise, so this is what we have to do at the races.

"But after that [the test car is ready], I think the progress will ramp up better.

"We have a lot of ideas but at the moment we have only a few half-hours to test them."

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