Volvo Polestar Racing has unveiled its 2013 STCC program at the yearly presentation for partners and employees at the Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg.
"We started racing in the STCC 17 years ago and we are very happy to return again as STCC and TTA have united. That is why we are pushing extra hard this year and Volvo Polestar Racing features its strongest line-up ever. We are ready for the 2013 STCC," said Derek Crabb, Motorsport Director of Volvo Cars.
New for this season in that the racing cars have been updated to the new Volvo S60 of model year 2014.
"We have tested the new cars in the Volvo wind tunnel with good results. We are well prepared for the season," said Fredrik Wahlén, Team Manager of Volvo Polestar Racing.
Five drivers races for Volvo in this year's STCC in three different teams: Volvo Polestar Racing with Fredrik Ekblom and Thed Björk, Volvo Polestar Performance with Robert Dahlgren and Linus Ohlsson and Volvo Polestar with Prince Carl Philip Bernadotte.
The three different teams have their own unique design where Prince Carl Philip has done the design for his car.
"Design is something I am passionate about and to combine that with my racing is of course great. I am looking forward to the coming season together with my team mates," said Prince Carl Philip.
Volvo Polestar Racing secured a Grand Slam last year with all three titles for drivers, teams and manufacturers. Fredrik Ekblom, who is a three-time Swedish champion, secured the drivers title in 2012 and is aiming for a new gold.
"Last year was a dream season and the joy is still there after our great Grand Slam. We face an even stronger challenge this year new competing drivers and teams. It is not going to be easy in any way, but we are for sure aiming for a new Grand Slam. The conditions are there for it, no doubt," said Fredrik Ekblom.
Other news ahead of this season is that half of the race weekends is going to feature the traditional STCC format with two races of 20 minutes each. The remaining four races features a single race of 40 minutes. Qualifying has also been changed to a system similar to Formula 1 with three different sessions (Q1 to Q3) where the five fastest driver gets to decide the grid for the race in the final session (Q3).
The STCC season starts on the 4th of May at Knutstorp in the south of Sweden, a track where Volvo holds the record of most number of victories. The season continues with a further seven races at tracks like Solvalla in Stockholm, home track Gothenburg City Arena and the season finale at Mantorp Park on the 21st of September.
Do not miss the video
from the launch.
See more pictures from the launch in our gallery
Follow Volvo Polestar Racing for the 2013 STCC season at www.polestar.com.
Calendar 2013 STCC
07/09 Tierp Arena*
21/09 Mantorp Park**
* = One race
** = Two races
Volvo Polestar Racing
#11 Fredrik Ekblom
#12 Thed Björk
Volvo Polestar Performance
#14 Robert Dahlgren
#15 Linus Ohlsson
#13 Carl Philip Bernadotte
Phone: +46 70 241 3234
It is only a day left until this year's Volvo Polestar Racing programme for the 2013 STCC is unveiled at Volvo in Gothenburg. But what are the drivers up to during the winters when the Swedish racing circuits are covered in a deep layer of snow?
The expertise of the Volvo Polestar Racing drivers have been utilized in the development work of the new Volvo V40 chassis.
"To have our racing drivers as a part in this has been very important. The drivers are experts in judging cars and they are really an asset," said Håkan Abrahamsson, V40 Project Manager.
Robert Dahlgren, who starts his tenth STCC season for Volvo Polestar Racing this year, has been a part of the development work from the start.
"The Volvo V40 is a fun to drive car and that is something we have worked hard for. I am passionate about this type of work and it is a perfect combination for me as professional racing driver to keep the driving going during the winter," said Dahlgren.
The video shows the very start of the project when prototype cars (also called "Mules") were used and continues to the final tests ahead of the launch in 2012.
Video short version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXRZKX3_CwQ
Video long version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv0hYLqPVuU
The 2013 STCC season starts on the 4th of May at Knutstorp in the south of Sweden. This year's programme is going to me revealed tomorrow with a presentation of the drivers, cars and design at the Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg.
Limited Edition. Soon in Australia.
The new Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 R-Design are here, featuring a new dynamic design and sporty drive twinned with the option of Polestar performance.
Top petrol and diesel models T6 and D5 can be optimised by Polestar, bringing the power up to 329 and 230 hp respectively. The 0-100 km/h times are improved thanks to the Polestar optimisation, with the T6 doing the sprint in 5.8 seconds (6.1 original) and the D5 in 7.4 seconds (7.6 original).
Emission levels and fuel economy remain unchanged with the Polestar optimisation. More information is available in our Performance section.
Prince Carl Philip Bernadotte makes his STCC debut on the 4th of May at Ring Knutstorp in Sweden for Volvo Polestar Racing. The Prince has completed three test days abroad as a first step in the driver development plan with the team.
"It has been three very good and useful test days for me in both dry and wet conditions," said Prince Carl Philip.
Prince Carl Philip drove over 300 laps on two different circuits in Italy in a car with similar basic parameters as the Volvo he is going to race with in the STCC.
"Although the test car is a bit different to the Volvo I am going to race, I have gotten a good feeling for the car type and many well-needed kilometers. I especially like the power and directness of the car, you can place it right where you want it on the track," said Prince Carl Philip.
Present during the test days were Polestar Racing engineers Jan Andersson and Mattias Evensson, where the latter is going to work with Prince Carl Philip during the race weekends this season.
"Keeping Prince Carl Philip's limited experience of racing in mind, he has done a solid job during the test days and we are inspired by his focus and seriousness to the task," said Mattias Evensson, Engineer of Polestar Racing.
Price Carl Philip has previously raced in support classes to the STCC and faces a new challenge this year where he is going to face multiple Swedish champions with wast experience of international racing.
"The Prince is well aware of the challenge he faces. Our cooperation with him spans over several years and we have started a driver development work which is going to take time. The first year is about the basics where we are going to work a lot on driving technique and car setup. Year two and three will be more about looking at expectations and performance," said Jan Andersson, Engineer of Polestar Racing.
Other than circuit testing, Prince Carl Philip has also started a training program with team mate and experienced Volvo Polestar Racing driver Robert Dahlgren.
"We have set up a program for physical and mental training, a part just as important as the actual driving for a racing driver," said Robert Dahlgren, who spends 10 hours training per week.
The next run for Prince Carl Philip is going to be during the official STCC test days in April where he is going to get his first real test with his Volvo S60.
"It is going to be fun and I am looking forward to it. I have the biggest challenge of my life ahead of me, I am going to do my very best and I am excited ahead of the season," said Prince Carl Philip.
STCC has introduced a new race format ahead of the 2013 season which includes F1 style qualifying and 20 minute sprint races.
Half of this year's eight races is going to feature two sprint races of 20 minutes each, while the rest of the races features a single race of 40 minutes.
The races with the sprint format includes Knutstorp, Falkenberg, Karlskoga and Mantorp Park while Solvalla, Gothenburg, Östersund and Tierp Arena keeps the format of 40 minutes from last year.
The qualifying system gets divided in to three sessions, similar to Formula One and DTM: Q1, Q2 and Q3. All cars will take part in the first Q1 session of 15 minutes, which also decides the grid for the second race. Top eight cars takes part int he second Q2 session of 10 minutes while only the top five cars from Q2 gets to fight for the top five positions in the final Q3 session of five minutes.
Volvo Polestar Racing takes part with five cars in this year's STCC with dirvers Fredrik Ekblom, Thed Björk, Robert Dahlgren, Linus Ohlsson and Carl Philip Bernadotte.
07/09 Tierp Arena*
21/09 Mantorp Park**
* = One race
** = Two races
Top Gear's secret racing driver The Stig drove the Volvo S60 Polestar during the Top Gear Festival in Sydney, Australia.
Polestar was a part of the Top Gear Festival for two days where "The Beast", as the Aussies calls the 508HP Volvo S60 Polestar, was driven by both The Stig and Volvo Polestar Racing driver Robert Dahlgren around the Eastern Creek circuit, also known as Sydney Motorsport Park.
"We have had a good visit in Australia. It was a lot of fun to be a part of the Top Gear Festival and meet the nice australians. Eastern Creek was a cool circuit, the S60 Polestar felt really good there," said Dahlgren.
Polestar was also present at Volvo Australia's launch of the Volvo V40, with Dahlgren and Hans Bååth, Managing Director of Polestar.
Join us for the weekend in Australia in our two latest videos.
The Volvo S60 Polestar, or "The Beast" as the Aussies call it, is going to the Top Gear Festival in Sydney, Australia, this weekend.
The car was air-freighted to Australia earlier last month and has for the past days been a part of the Volvo V40 launch in Sydney.
The Top Gear Festival kicks off on Saturday and will feature a lot of exciting events, including a Volvo Challenge where the visitors can get behind the wheel of the all new Volvo V40 and learn from professionals on a tight and tricky handling course.
Volvo Polestar Racing driver Robert Dahlgren will be behind the wheel of the S60 Polestar, doing hot laps around the Sydney Motorsport Park circuit.
Polestar has worked with the Volvo C30 since its introduction in 2006 and has since then optimised over 1200 cars to private customers, claimed five racing titles and secured 20 racing victories with the model.
The C30 started its career with Polestar in the 2007 Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) season after an intense development work. The highlight of its racing career came in 2009 when Tommy Rustad secured the STCC title for Polestar.
Other than the optimisations for the road version of the C30 model, like the Black R and U.S. Limited Edition, a 455 HP concept car was built and tested by Top Gear:
"Really hard. Really raw. This car is epic." Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear.
Polestar has put together a tribute video of the car, showing the milestones with the model:
Chris Harris and Pistonhead tested the Volvo S60 Polestar at a snowy airfield in the UK.
The test included a drag race, among other things, against a Mercedes C63 AMG on a very long airfield that has previously hosted both the British and American air force.
"This was a test to discover whether Volvo is on to something with this whole Polestar brand. Whether it should go after the Germans at their own game. Having experienced that blue thing fully lit in third gear, the answer is an emphatic yes!"
Watch the vide with Chris Harris and the Volvo S60 Polestar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjUjwgLTB_w
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