Q: What has changed in V8 Supercars that allows Volvo to enter theChampionship in 2014?
A: V8 Supercars’ Car of the Future strategy – which debuted in 2013 – helped openthe door for Volvo to go V8 Supercar racing.
What is Car of the Future?
In brief, the Car of the Future (COTF) aims to broaden the appeal and ensure thelong-term viability of the Championship by introducing new cars and events,improving driver safety and reducing the cost of running a V8 Supercar.
More than four years of work has gone into the project, which essentially creates acommon car platform from which manufacturers can now build-up a car and enterthe series. These changes make them cheaper to construct, stronger, safer and morerelevant to the modern motoring market.
Why V8 Supercars?
V8 Supercars is one of the biggest categories in the world and offers enormousexposure to all manufacturers, current and future. Volvo has recognised theimmense strength of the brand; and we are thrilled to have them on board as a fifthmanufacturer.
How did this come about?
Since the introduction of Car of the Future many car companies has expressedinterest at varying levels. Talks with Volvo have been underway for some time withthis the culmination of those discussions.
When was the deal done?
The decision was made by the Board of Volvo Car Group in Sweden recently.Quite literally the final paperwork was completed just this morning.
Why is COTF important for V8 Supercars?
For a range of reasons. It opens the potential for more manufacturers, such asVolvo, to join the Championship. It also helps underpin the viability of the categoryand its racing teams and is a case of evolution, rather than revolution.
How many more manufacturers do you envisage?
V8 Supercars has always said whilst there is no limit careful consideration isgiven to each potential manufacturer, its business and sporting case and positiveimpact on V8 Supercars.
Who is next?
There is certainly interest from other manufacturers in the market at varyinglevels. It would be too early to say if we would have a sixth manufacturer or not. Andat any time these types of discussions can be quite sensitive and need a high levelof confidentiality behind them.
Why should they join V8 Supercars?
There are significant and major benefits for car companies and sponsors to bepart of the V8 Supercar brand. These include national and international exposure,high levels of safety awareness, technology, worldwide audience, televisioncoverage, online reach, on-track attendance and so on.
When were COTF cars introduced to the V8 Supercars Championship?
All V8 Supercars Championship cars on the grid at the first race of the 2013season were built to COTF specifications – as will the Volvo Polestar Racing V8Supercars in 2014.
Will the arrival of Volvo mean more cars on the grid in 2014?
The grid size will remain at the present number of 28 cars in the foreseeablefuture. There are 28 Racing Entitlements Contracts (RECs) and V8 Supercars willadd no more. With two Volvos, four Nissans and three Mercedes, the remaining 19cars will be Holdens and Fords. All new cars will be built to Car of the Futurespecification.
Will the Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercar be a silhouette car?
No. The Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercar will retain the DNA of its road-goingversion with opening and closing doors, genuine panels and fixings (head and taillights, grill, etc) and the same shape and styling of the road car.
This is in direct contrast with NASCAR’s silhouette-style cars, which are constructedof sheet metal draped over a base chassis. Different manufacturers are onlydistinguishable by decals in NASCAR. This is not the case with V8 Supercars.
How many Volvos will be on the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship grid?
At present there will be two Volvo Polestar Racing S60s on the grid – all run byGarry Rogers Motorsport from their Dandenong race team HQ, and in closecollaboration with Volvo Car Australia, Polestar and Volvo Car Group in Sweden. Allof Volvo’s discussions about joining V8 Supercars have been with Garry RogersMotorsport – there has never been any dialogue with other teams.
When does the first Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercar hit the track?
This will be announced in due course.
When will the first Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercar race?
The new Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercars will be on the grid for the first raceof the V8 Supercars Championship 2014 season.
What model Volvo will race in the V8 Supercars Championship?
The Volvo S60.
What engine will the Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercar use?
The Volvo 4.4-litre production V8 modified for racing in this Championship. Furtherdetails on the V8 Supercar race engine will be released in due course.
I thought Volvo’s global engine strategy involved 4-cylinders only?
A race engine application is very different from a street engine application. Webelieve that our new VEA four-cylinder engine family can challenge V8 engines onpower, torque and refinement, but at the same time we would not allow the currentV8 Supercar engine regulations stop us from entering one of the world’s best touringcar championships.
Volvo recently decided not to enter the World Touring Car Championshipafter a season of evaluation, and now you enter V8 Supercars. What is thereasoning behind this decision?
An entry in any motorsport program is a simple question of return of investment.Both WTCC and V8 Supercars provided a strong case to Volvo. However, in late2011 we decided to focus all racing participation with the S60 model – V8 Supercarsprovides a perfect fit from this perspective.
When did Volvo last compete in the top level of touring car racing inAustralia?
Volvo Car Australia last competed in Australian touring car racing as a worksteam between 1995 and 1999, where it successfully campaigned the 850 Sedan,850 Estate Wagon and S40 Sedan. In addition, Volvo won the 1986 AustralianTouring Car Championship with Robbie Francevic in a Volvo 240T. Its last Bathurst1000 start came in 1998 with Jim Richards and Rickard Rydell winning The GreatRace in a Volvo S40 – 15 years ago this October.
Is Volvo open to other manufacturers joining the Championship?
Volvo prides itself on being the first factory-backed luxury car brand to join the V8Supercars Championship. Volvo would welcome any manufacturer to join Australia’spremier motor racing series.
Are further manufacturers expected to follow Volvo’s announcement andjoin the V8 Supercars Championship under the Car of the Future rules?
V8 Supercars expects further manufacturers to join Volvo in the Championship.The sport aims to grow to 18 events in Australia and worldwide (from the present 15Championship events) over 40 weeks in future years, as well as continuing at theAustralian Grand Prix each year.
Is Volvo Car Group head office in Sweden funding this move into racing?
No, the program is funded by Volvo Car Australia. The global resources of theVolvo Car Group and Polestar, Volvo’s performance and motorsport partner since1996, are being utilised by Garry Rogers Motorsport now to facilitate thedevelopment of the Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercars in readiness for the 2014season.
Does Garry Rogers Motorsport become a fully-fledged factory team?
Yes, Volvo Polestar Racing will sport a clear brand presence on the race cars andall other elements of support, collateral and other activation mediums. Major sponsorprofiles will remain and Garry will comment on that further.
Why have you chosen Garry Rogers Motorsport as your race partner?
Garry Rogers Motorsport has depth and history in V8 Supercars, and hasimpressed time and time again with their ability to function competitively and punchabove their weight on budgets smaller than their rivals. Garry is also a racer in thetruest sense of the word and this appealed to Christian Dahl (Polestar’s owner) who,along with Volvo Car Australia, was impressed with their operation, managementand simple team structure. We think Garry Rogers Motorsport is the perfect partnerfor Volvo Polestar Racing and we look forward to working with them collaborativelyand closely.
How long is your contract with Garry Rogers Motorsport?
It’s a multi-year contract. Success takes time, of course – and we certainly won’tbe making any bold statements when it comes to racing KPIs – but we’re in this forthe long haul. As the V8 Supercars Championship continues to make strides tobetter reflect the fast-changing Australian automotive landscape, we feel there’s nobetter place to showcase our S60 model line.
Are Volvo’s dealers involved?
The Volvo Dealer Network have been involved in this proposal, are aware of theplans, and are fully supportive of our entry in to V8 Supercar racing.