Volvo Car Australia has announced it will become the fifth manufacturer to contest V8 Supercars – beginning at next year’s Clipsal 500.
In conjunction with its factory-aligned performance division Polestar, Volvo Oz has formed Volvo Polestar Racing and will enter the 2014 season tied to Garry Rogers Motorsport. The division will field two cars – both S60 sedans – running Volvo-developed V8 engines.
“Today is a very significant day,” said V8 Supercar Commission Chairman Mark Skaife. “It’s very positive for them [Volvo] to re-enter Australian motorsport … The Garry Rogers team will be a fully-fledged, factory-backed team”.
Volvo is no stranger to Aussie motorsport. In 1986, Robbie Francevic won the Australian Touring Car championship in a 240 Turbo, and in 1998, Volvo blitzed the field with a one-two finish at the Bathurst Super Tourer 1000. Given the enormity of its V8 Supercar ambition, Volvo hopes this venture will continue its history of motorsport success.
Factory funding will come entirely from Volvo Car Australia, with support from Volvo in Sweden. “Obviously, it’s about showcasing the S60 – bringing it to a wider audience than previously,” said Volvo Car Australia’s Managing Director, Matt Braid.
As for Garry Rogers Motorsport, it will be situation normal, except for the cars. “Everyone at my place [GRM] is so excited about it. Everyone knew we’d spoken to Chrysler and other people. … it won’t be an easy gig but we’re confident we can do the job.”
Volvo Oz boss Matt Braid is equally confident the S60s can succeed – “we’re very confident we’ll achieve results on the track.”
The engine the cars will use is believed to be a development of Volvo’s 4.4-litre V8 developed with Yamaha and once fitted to road cars like the XC90 and S80. “The engine will be a Volvo engine which Polestar are developing for us,” said Garry Rogers. As for when GRM will start testing cars, Rogers said “we would believe with our workforce that we will have a car to test late November/early December.”
With five makes on the grid at Clipsal 500 next February, the 2014 V8 Supercar season promises to be a scorcher.