This weekend’s World Touring Car Championship round at Brno in the Czech Republic will see 19 of the 21-car grid fitted with turbocharged engines, after Polestar Racing and SUNRED Engineering announced it would covert its older-spec cars to the new-for-2011 engine regulations.
After completing a successful series of tests, Polestar Racing has confirmed it will convert Robert Dahlgren’s Volvo C30 to its in-house-developed turbo engine, having completed the first part of the season with a five-cylinder normally-aspirated engine.
“We have learned a lot in the first part of the season, but we have not been able to be competitive with the older engine. We are competitive and we want to be in the top and fight, this is going to be our first real comparison with our competitors,” said Polestar team principal Robert Dahl.
The announcement comes on the back of the outfit’s most competitive showing since it joined the WTCC full-time, where Dahlgren qualified inside the top-ten and was a podium contender until bad luck intervened.
Meanwhile at SUNRED Engineering, it has confirmed that two of the remaining three cars still fitted with the venerable turbodiesel unit will be converted to the new 1.6-litre turbo engine ahead of this weekend’s race at Brno.
Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro will join fellow SUNRED runners Pepe Oriola, Fredy Barth and Michel Nykjær (who debuted the new engines in race conditions at the last round in Hungary) in running the new-spec engines.
The announcement is interestingly timed with Tarquini and Monteiro both in the top-five of the Drivers’ Championship standings as they head to the Czech Republic. The Brno circuit has typically been a bogey track for the front-wheel-drive SEATs, and it this would be compounded with the additional 40kg of performance ballast they would need to carry there as a result of switching to the new engine platform.
Aleksei Dudukalo is now SUNRED’s sole entrant with the TDI engine, and he will be the last remaining competitor – alongside Scuderia Proteam Fabio Fabiani in the BMW 320si – to compete in the WTCC Jay-Ten Trophy category specifically set up for older-spec engines.
[Images via FIA WTCC Media]