Scandinavian Touring Car Championship leader Robert Dahlgren will race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the remainder of the season in place of Fredrik Ekblom, the Polestar Cyan Racing team has announced.
The 36-year-old Swede will return to the championship after a five-year absence – he last raced in the WTCC in 2011 in a Polestar-built Volvo C30 (pictured above) before moving into a short-lived and unsuccessful V8 Supercars Championship campaign when Polestar entered the series in 2014.
Subsequently, Dahlgren returned to his homeland and the STCC, while also working on the development of Polestar Cyan Racing’s S60 TC1 car ahead of its return to the World Touring Car Championship this year.
The team ultimately elected to run Ekblom and Thed Björk in its two-car line-up, while Dahlgren remained in the STCC and currently leads the 2016 Drivers’ Championship standings with two victories to-date.
Dahlgren will return to the WTCC at this weekend’s round on the streets of Vila Real in Portugal, a track that neither he nor the team has any familiarity with.
“I am honoured to get this opportunity and the feeling is of course awesome,” said Dahlgren.
Dahlgren will combine his WTCC commitments with his STCC schedule, but miss the STCC round at Solvalla when it clashes with the WTCC Race of Japan round at Motegi. From that point, Dahlgren will switch full-time to the WTCC.
Dahlgren’s return is to ostensibly help fast-track the Polestar Cyan Racing’s team’s expansion to a three-car effort for the 2017 WTCC season, its motorsport head Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin has confirmed.
“Our main objective with the WTCC project this year is to prepare for 2017, using two cars and three drivers,” he said.
“As a part of this plan, Robert will switch with Fredrik and join Thed for the part that is done during the race weekends. Needless to say our plan and three drivers have all delivered beyond expectations so far.”
With 35 points and sitting twelfth overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings, Ekblom – who is currently eight points ahead of teammate Thed Björk – will take over the behind-the-scenes development of the Volvo S60 TC1 for the remainder of the season and is expected to return full-time in 2017.
Image via FIA WTCC Media