Volvo Polestar Racing has confirmed that Swedish import Robert Dahlgren will not be given the opportunity to contest a second season in the V8 Supercars Championship.
Dahlgren, a ten-year veteran with Polestar’s Scandinavian and World Touring Car Championship efforts, was sent to Australia to spearhead Volvo’s return to the Australian touring car scene with the Garry Rogers Motorsport stable.
Brought in to primarily aide Volvo and Polestar’s engine development, Dahlgren has fallen down the same path as fellow ex-internationals Alexandre Prémat, Jacques Villeneuve and Max Wilson in predictably struggling to adapt to the rigours of racing ‘Down Under’. Dahlgren sits last of the full-time runners on this year’s Drivers’ Championship standings, having failed to secure a single top-ten finish while also bearing the brunt of the Volvo S60’s reliability niggles.
Not helping his cause has been the sensational performances of teammate Scott McLaughlin, who sits fifth in the championship standings with four race wins.
It is expected that Dahlgren will be replaced by David Wall, who looks set to join long-time backers Wilson Security and Payce Consolidated, who both recently confirmed new sponsorship deals with the factory team.
“To be involved in such a successful debut V8 Supercars season has been incredibly rewarding, and I am proud to have played a key role in the development of the new car and engine, linking GRM in Melbourne with Polestar in Gothenburg,” Dahlgren is quoted as saying.
“The entire GRM team – and the Australian motorsport fans – have all been incredibly welcoming to me and my family. The V8 Supercars Championship is without doubt one of the best in the world and I leave Australia with many happy memories.”
“Robert’s results on track were what we were to expect with a new car, new engineer and new tracks,” Polestar managing director Christian Dahl added.
“His task in aligning the R&D work between Gothenburg and Melbourne was done well above the pace we could expect. Now, we need Robert back home again for coming projects.”
Dahl’s last comments are particularly interesting, particularly given the rumours that have emerged this week that Volvo and Polestar could be considering a return to the World Touring Car Championship in 2016. Dahlgren raced full-time for the team in its evaluation year of the championship, and his experience and knowledge of the programme could be called upon once again.
Image via Christian Hartung