Volvo’s ongoing participation in the World Touring Car Championship remains under a cloud, in the wake of news that Robert Dahlgren has signed a new four-year agreement with Volvo Polestar Racing to race in the new Touring Car Team Association (TTA) championship next year.
“I am really glad to extend my contract with Volvo Polestar Racing. I really like it here, the team is really professional and it is going to be exciting to race in the new TTA,” the Swede has said of his re-signing.
Dahlgren, who turned 32 yesterday, has been part of the Volvo stable since 2004. He won last year’s Scandinavian Touring Car Cup before making a full-time switch with Polestar when it joined the World Touring Car Championship in what is proclaimed was an evaluation season.
Dahlgren instantly proved to be one of the revelations of the season, and was generally the only driver who could regularly mix it with the front-running works RML Chevrolets. Despite repeated promise, he failed to earn a podium finish and was often the unfortunate victim of some quite bad luck.
His season ended prematurely at the season-ending Race of Macau when he crashed on his out-lap in qualifying and broke his thumb.
The deal will see Dahlgren join a four-car operation with Polestar as it joins the new TTA championship, the breakaway series that formed from the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship. The team will run four S60 cars, with Dahlgren partnering the already-confirmed Fredrik Ekblom and Thed Björk.
Volvo’s plans for its continued World Touring Car Championship involvement remain a mystery, and the outfit has not made public its plans for the 2012 season.
A withdrawal after just a single season of competition would be a great shame indeed.
[Images via FIA WTCC Media]