Volvo engine drama: solution possible this week

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 07/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

The engine failures that have blighted Wilson Security Racing GRM and Scott McLaughlin's start to the 2015 V8 Supercars championship could be remedied this week - or an engine could be on its way to builder Polestar in Sweden if they aren't diagnosed.

The team has suffered three engine failures in its Volvo S60 already this year; two for lead driver McLaughlin at the Clipsal 500 and the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint, while new recruit David Wall was also struck down at Symmons Plains.

Combined with other dramas this year that have included McLaughlin's Clipsal 500 Race 2 jump-start penalty and Wall's burned big toe and subsequent skin graft last week, they find themselves languishing 13th and 22nd respectively in the drivers' championship.

The story is no brighter in the teams' point table, where the factory Volvo squad lies eighth out of 16.

In the wake of the team's Tassie dramas, engine builder Jeff 'Gypsy' Marshall last week completely pulled apart one of the team's narrow angle 5.0-litre V8s in the workshop and was in constant dialogue with Polestar, which developed the B8444S with such success last year.

The result of that investigation will determine if an engine has to go back to Sweden or not.

"Right now, we just don't know what the problem is," admitted Barry Rogers, a member of the senior management at the team owned by his father Garry. "Nothing has changed in the internal set-up of the engine.

"We have got an engine fully dismantled here and Gypsy is speaking to Polestar on a daily basis, reporting back and getting things measured ad doing all sorts of different things.

"Whether we send one back or not will be decided next week (after Easter)."

The team hopes that whatever the problem is the solution will be in-place to be tested when a new S60 chassis (the team's third) has its 20-lap shakedown run at Winton on April 13.

If that doesn't happen, any changes won't be tested on-track until the championship resumes at the Perth SuperSprint on May 1-3.

"Even if we do test the engine at the shakedown, we still won't be 200 per cent sure until we are on the track in Western Australia," Rogers cautioned.

Rogers said the problematic start to its second year had been a major disappointment for the factory Volvo team, which had been clear in its goal that Mclaughlin should be a championship contender in 2015.

"We did a lot of work in the off-season and the expectation was that we would continue on where we left off last season," he said. "It's worth remembering that Scott qualified on the front row of the grid in Adelaide ... so we were on the pace.

"So we are not saying he's the favourite to win the championship, he's certainly far from that at this moment in time.

"But it's certainly not something that could still not be achieved.

"To be honest the championship is probably the furthest thing from our mid at the moment. The aim is to get a reliable car out there and build a bit of momentum."

Rogers said that morale remained good within the team and that Volvo and new naming rights sponsors Wilson Security and Payce were fully supportive.

"There is no doubt there is some disappointment among the boys, but everyone is not down on their haunches," Rogers said. "We are two rounds into a 14 round season so there is still plenty of opportunities for us.

"Everyone who is involved in motorsport understands - not necessarily accepts - that on occasions things like this do happen in a competitive business. We are all disappointed ... we all want it solved and have them running around for the full length of weekends."

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