Volvo’s performance and motorsport arm, Polestar, has today made a shock announcement that it will not extend its contract to remain in the series as a works entry.
According to Polestar’s chief operating offer, Niels Möller, the category – which will next year moved to more open-specification ‘Gen2’ technical regulations – no longer aligns with the company’s business objectives.
“We have enjoyed a good cooperation with Garry Rogers Motorsport and the championship organisers, but our strategy and business objectives requires us now to focus our attention to other technologies and championships in the near future,” Möller said in an official statement.
The news comes as a major blow to V8 Supercars, which had been hoping to retain and attract manufacturer-back entries as it moves to new technical regulations next year.
Polestar, which oversees Volvo’s global motorsport activities, joined the V8 Supercars Championship in 2014 – a year after the inception of the current ‘Car of the Future’ regulations – fielding a pair of S60 V8 cars for the Garry Rogers Motorsport team.
The outfit’s fortunes were reborn with a new brand and star driver in the form of Scott McLaughlin, who helped the team to four race wins in Volvo’s debut season and has claimed a further two wins to-date in 2016 to sit second overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
At that time, Polestar was owned by Christian Dahl, but it was subsequently sold back to Volvo last year. Dahl’s motorsport business was renamed Cyan Racing, which fields cars in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and more recently returned to the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the start of this year.
This year, GRM’s two Volvos have ominously run without Polestar branding and have instead sported ‘Volvo Cyan Racing’ and ‘Volvo Dealer Racing’ logos.
GRM team owner Garry Rogers has confirmed in the wake of Polestar’s announcement that his team is committed to racing S60s next season without manufacturer support. It is understood that representatives of GRM were present in Sweden last weekend to meet with Dahl and negotiate an ongoing engine supply.
Image via Motorsport.com
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