Rumours are pointing towards Volvo making a full-time commitment to the World Touring Car Championship in 2011, with the manufacturer announcing it will field a single car at Brands Hatch and Okayama for Swedish and Scandinavian Touring Car Championship leader Robert Dahlgren.
The car will be run by the semi-works Polestar Racing outfit, and it is hoped it will be able to evaluate the viability of a full-time WTCC campaign for 2011.
Volvo has made WTCC appearances in the past, most recently at last year’s Brands Hatch event, where it fielded two cars for Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad. Dahlgren has also been afforded single-car entries at Brands in 2008 and Anderstorp in 2007.
With new engine regulations coming into force for next season, Volvo’s motorsport commercial director, Alexander Murdzevsk, believes that Volvo is well-placed to enter serious competition in the WTCC.
“We see WTCC now addressing its major obstacle for growth with the new engine regulations,” he said.
“We will remain focused on the improved FIA S2000 regulations used in WTCC. That is why we have given Polestar a green light to further evaluate competitiveness, and challenged them to establish a financial and technical plan for WTCC for 2011, including a full FIA homologation of the current C30 car.”
The C30’s homologation has only been approved on a national basis, meaning that Dahlgren won’t be eligible for any championship points at either event in which he will pilot his bio-ethanol-powered car.
Polestar’s boss Christian Dahl is confident his outfit will be able to mix it with the top-shelf teams at these two meetings.
“We are very happy Volvo has made the decision to let us do Brands Hatch again and Okayama,” he said. “We have done one World Touring Car Championship event per season to evaluate our car against the best. These two meetings will allow an even better evaluation.”
[Original image via Flickr]