Robert Dahlgren set to remain with PWR for 2018 STCC season
Scandinavian Touring Car Championship points leader Robert Dahlgren is set to remain with PWR Racing for the 2018 season, according to team co-founder and team-mate Daniel Haglöf.
Dahlgren, a long-time Volvo factory driver with Polestar Cyan Racing, switched to PWR and SEAT during the off-season, despite having announced his retirement from the sport altogether.
The 37-year-old has taken seven wins over the course of 2017, and heads into the season finale at Mantorp Park on 16th September with a 76-point advantage over former Volvo team-mate and current Kristoffersson Motorsport driver Fredrik Ekblom.
Haglöf also confirmed the team would continue their partnership with SEAT until 2020, with the Spanish manufacturer maintaining their SEAT Dealer Team status with the PWR Racing.
Haglöf told TouringCarTimes: “The deal with SEAT was a four-year one which was signed in 2016, so we have three more years with them in the TCR car.”
When asked about the future of his star driver, Haglöf added: “Yeah we have a multi-year deal with Robert so he will be part of the PWR team for 2018 too.
“We’ve worked together well this year and he stands a good chance of winning the championship in Mantorp. Next year we need to keep on pushing and take the fight to KMS who will for sure be strong again next season.”
Haglöf also believes the full benefits of the mass overhaul in the team’s staff in the aftermath of the Alastaro round in May – which included the appointment of former Polestar managing director Hans Bååth – will bear fruit in time for a fresh title push in 2018, something of which the team has seen signs of already this summer.
He said: “what’s even more exciting now is that we have some key personnel and staff that will take us to the next level. We had some massive changes in the team after the Finnish round so with more budget next year, we should be stronger.”
While Dahlgren and SEAT are set to be penned in for another year, Haglöf and co-owner Peter (Poker) Wallenberg have yet to make a final decision on the team’s Junior outfit.
Wallenberg has raced a similar SEAT León to that of Dahlgren and Haglöf, with Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky completing a partial season in an Audi RS 3 LMS.
Former FIA European F3 driver John Bryant-Meisner will deputise for Åhlin-Kottulinsky – who is on ADAC GT Masters duty at the Sachsenring – at Mantorp, with Haglöf keen to assess the 21-year-old’s talents behind the wheel.
“We first began discussions with John last autumn, and we kept in contact ever since,” Haglöf said.
“He has a lot of experience in single-seaters and wants to switch to touring cars now. It’s important that it [Bryant-Meisner’s one-off weekend at Mantorp] is the right kind of performance and relationship with the team.”
“We don’t have any multi-year deals in the junior team so everything needs to be renegotiated. We don’t know if we will keep Audis and we don’t know if we will keep Mikaela. We’ve really enjoyed having her in the team and her sponsors are really happy too, so we will see,” Haglöf added.