Volvo enters 2016 World Touring Car Championship with Polestar

The Volvo brand will return to the World Touring Car Championship in 2016 under the Polestar Cyan Racing banner, campaigning two S60s

The team, which runs five cars in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and also prepares the Garry Rogers Motorsport entries in the V8 Supercars championship, will step up to the WTCC with support from Volvo in a "multi-year" deal.

The announcement comes on the 30th anniversary of Volvo's European Touring Car Championship success, and follows a two-year development programme.

"It was 30 years ago today that the Volvo team brought home a European championship in touring car racing," said Polestar's chief operating officer Neils Moller.

"We needed a new challenge and that will be that we go for the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2016."

Polestar plans to field two entries next year, but is hoping to expand thereafter in line with its title aspirations.

It is yet to make a decision on its driver line-up, though Scandinavian Touring Car champion Thed Bjork, Robert Dahlgren and Fredrik Ekblom have all played a part in the car's development and are testing the car on Tuesday at Mantorp Park.

Through its various guises, the team has been responsible for Volvo's motorsport ventures since 1996 and has been under the direction of Christian Dahl for the past 10 years.

Polestar Racing, as it was previously known, raced sporadically in the WTCC with guest entries for Dahlgren between 2007 and '10, before embarking on a full campaign with the Swede in '11 with a Volvo C30.

It also made a one-off appearance with Bjork in 2013 as it evaluated a return to the championship.

Next year's effort will mark the first time that the team has entered a two-car assault on the WTCC.

"Racing touring cars is part of the DNA of our company," added its head of motorsport Alexander Murdzevski.

"We are also at the time now [where] we are reigning four-time consecutive [STCC] champions, and we are looking for a challenge to bring home the world championship title to Sweden in the FIA WTCC.

"The championship has a very good connection to the history, tradition and values of how Volvo like to participate in motorsport.

"As an engineering challenge, taking on the frontrunner today [Citroen] which has won 10 titles [across the World Rally Championship and WTCC] - I don't think you can find that in many other championships so it's a fantastic challenge for us, which means that this is one of the biggest projects in the history of our motorsport heritage.

"We know that the first year will be a learning year for us but that's the whole plan; it's a multi-year engagement.

"We hope that we will learn really quick in '16, challenge for podiums in '17 and then make life a little bit more difficult for the frontrunning teams in the championship and battle for the title."


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