Volvo to make one-off appearance in the WTCC at Shanghai

Volvo Polestar Racing will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the next round in Shanghai for just one race, fielding their Super 2000 specification Volvo C30 1.6T for current Scandinavian Touring Car Champion Thed Björk.

The Swedish manufacturer last competed in the WTCC in 2011, running the full season as an evaluation for a full programme which never came to fruition. The manufacturer ran a 1.6 litre turbocharged C30 for Robert Dahlgren, whilst Tommy Rustad, James Thompson and Gabriele Tarquini drove for the team concurrently in the STCC.

Volvo’s last WTCC race was therefore at the season finale in Macau in 2011, though their weekend ended early with Dahlgren crashing out in qualifying and breaking his thumb.

“We are entering this race to check the pulse of WTCC, as well as celebrating Thed Björk’s amazing performance in the STCC this year,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Volvo’s Motorsport Commercial Director.

“We moved our focus to the Volvo S60 model as our primary car for motorsport in 2012, the model that we are currently racing in Sweden and USA and that we will race in the Australian V8 Supercars next year. While our S60 model does not match WTCC well today, we still think WTCC represents possibly the best value for money and one-fits-all global motorsport solution if you want to race with a smaller C-segment car. Consequently, we are keen on staying closely informed and this is precisely our objective with Shanghai, not outright performance and results,” he added.

Björk will be making his WTCC debut with Volvo, whom have never raced at the Shanghai International Circuit before, with Tianma hosting the WTCC round back in 2011.

“I am looking forward to making my WTCC debut with Volvo and I am very grateful to get this opportunity. The WTCC is a very competitive championship and the challenge for us is going to be great, but that is only fuelling my motivation,” said Björk.

“We know that we have got a tough race weekend ahead of us as we never before have raced at the circuit. We keep our ambitions realistic, to make it to the top ten would be a great result, but our main mission is to gather data and information. Nonetheless, I am going to give my very best and there is no doubt that we have two exciting races ahead.”

The manufacturer’s C30 road car model is no longer in production and was built to the outgoing set of S2000 regulations, which will be replaced with more aerodynamic, lighter cars in 2014 with larger 18″ wheels, meaning the appearance in Shanghai will be the swansong for the venerable C30 touring car.