The season start of the 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship takes place this weekend at the legendary Paul Ricard circuit in France. Years of preparation will be put to the test for Polestar Cyan Racing as drivers Thed Björk and Fredrik Ekblom head out for the first two races in their brand new Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 race cars.
While the sights of Polestar Cyan Racing are set on the world title, endurance will be key to bringing it home. The first year will be all about learning: learning the circuits, the competition and the pace, especially in the very first races this weekend.
”This is the start of a completely new era for me personally and for the entire team, something I have dreamt about for a long time. We are coming well prepared but at the same time coming to something completely new. The goal for this weekend is to collect as much data as possible to continue building our foundation for our journey towards the top,” said Thed Björk, the reigning four-time STCC champion.
Team-mates Thed Björk and Fredrik Ekblom have raced together for Polestar Cyan Racing since 2012 and are close friends since many years, a cooperation vital for the coming challenges.
”While the pre-season testing in Vallelunga showed promising pace, both me and Thed have been on this level of motorsport for so long that we know that it is too early to draw any conclusions. It will be extremely interesting this weekend to see where we are compared to our competitors that have many years behind them in this championship, while we start with a clean sheet of paper. I am urging to get going and it will be a big moment for us all in the team to start this journey,” said Fredrik Ekblom, three-time STCC champion.
The season opening weekend in France starts with testing on Friday, practice and qualifying on Saturday and two races on Sunday. The race weekend is the first of 12 this season on four continents around the world where Polestar Cyan Racing will meet 18 drivers in 10 teams from Citroën, Honda, Chevrolet and Lada. Polestar Cyan Racing are alone in using the road car base engine, the Volvo Cars Drive-E engine
”Our purpose with this programme is to become World Champions. But this year is about following a specific plan to learn, with high discipline required from the drivers, engineers and the entire team in order for the competitiveness not to take over. We have an exciting weekend ahead of us, the first of many, and Paul Ricard is an amazing site with a lot of history to start our new challenge on,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
The Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
The Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 is an all-new race car built by Polestar Cyan Racing specifically for the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
The S60 Polestar TC1 is a state-of-the-art race car, weighing a mere 1100 kg and powered by a Volvo Cars Drive-E race engine that delivers 400 horsepower. Unlike competitor race cars, this engine is based completely on the one found in Volvo consumer cars.
Engine 4-cylinder, turbocharged, 1595 cc, Drive–E Volvo
Drive Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Power 400 HP
Max rpm 8500 rpm
Gearbox 6-speed sequential
Suspension MacPherson struts front, rear with adjustable Öhlins dampers
Brakes - front 4-piston callipers, 390mm ventilated discs
Brakes - rear 2-piston callipers, 280mm ventilated discs
Rims 18” with five-bolt pattern
Body Steel and carbon fibre
Weight 1100 kg
Lives: Karlskoga, Sweden
Born: 14 December 1980
Private car: Volvo V60 Polestar
2015 – STCC – Champion
2014 – STCC – Champion
2013 – STCC – Champion
2012 – TTA – 3rd
2011 – Camaro Cup Sweden – Champion
2009 – STCC – 2nd
2008 – STCC – 3rd
2006 – STCC – Champion
2005 – STCC – 2nd
2003 – GTR Sweden – Champion
2001 – FIA Sportscar SR2 Class – Champion
1999 – F3 Sweden & Nordic – Champion
Lives: Kumla, Sweden
Born: 6 October 1970
Private car: Volvo V60 Polestar
2015 – STCC – 2nd
2014 – STCC – 3rd
2012 – TTA – Champion
2011 – STCC – 2nd
2010 – STCC – 3rd
2008 – STCC – 2nd
2008 – Nürburgring 24-hours – Winner S1 class
2007 – STCC – Champion
2004 – STCC – 3rd
2003 – STCC – 2nd
2003 – STCC – Champion
2000 – STCC – 2nd
1999 – STCC – 2nd
1998 – STCC – Champion
1991 – F3000 UK – 2nd
1990 – F3 Sweden – 2nd
FIA World Touring Car Championship calendar 2016
1-3 April FIA WTCC Race of France (Circuit Paul Ricard)
15-17 April FIA WTCC Race of Slovakia (Slovakia Ring)
22-24 April FIA WTCC Race of Hungary (Hungaroring)
7-8 May FIA WTCC Race of Morocco (Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech)
26-28 May FIA WTCC Race of Germany (Nürburgring Nordschleife)
10-12 June FIA WTCC Race of Russia (Moscow Raceway)
24-26 June FIA WTCC Race of Portugal (Circ. Internacional de Vila Real)
5-7 August FIA WTCC Race of Argentina (Circ. Termas de Río Hondo)
2-4 September FIA WTCC Race of Japan (Twin Ring Motegi)
23-25 September FIA WTCC Race of China (Shanghai International Circuit)
4-6 November FIA WTCC Race of Thailand (Chang International Circuit)
23-25 November FIA WTCC Race of Qatar (Losail International Circuit)
Polestar – The Performance Brand of Volvo Cars
Polestar is the performance brand of Volvo Cars that comprises performance activities including performance edition cars, performance parts and performance drivetrain optimisations.
Volvo Cars acquired Polestar Performance AB in July 2015 as well as Polestar Holding AB, which is the owner of the Polestar trademarks. Volvo has not acquired the racing division of Polestar, now named Cyan Racing and owned by Christian Dahl.
The Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar makes the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 4.9 seconds and has got an extensively developed chassis. The car demonstrates Volvo and Polestar’s engineering philosophy of delivering an engaging, precise and confident driving experience.
The new generation Polestar Performance Optimisations offer increased mid-range engine performance in combination with supporting changes for the gearbox and throttle response to make the car more dynamic and responsive to drive.
Polestar Performance Parts offers a wide range of extensively developed enhancements for the Volvo S60, V60, V40 and XC60 models to begin with, including chassis parts, wheels, exhaust, interior and exterior details and more.
For more information on Polestar and Polestar Cyan Racing, visit Polestar.com
Video material is available on Polestar's Youtube channel
Volvo Car Group in 2015
For the 2015 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 6,620 MSEK (2,128 MSEK in 2014). Revenue over the period amounted to 164,043 MSEK (137,590 MSEK). In 2015, global sales reached a record 503,127 cars, an increase of 8 per cent versus 2014. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 503,127 in 2015 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2015, Volvo Cars had almost 29,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).