Parties surrounding Volvo’s V8 Supercar team in Australia have dropped a bombshell by announcing their withdrawal from the sport at the end of this season.
Polestar and its official motorsport partner, Cyan Racing, have announced they are pulling the pin after three seasons in the sport with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
”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,” Polestar COO, Niels Möller, said.
”We will of course support the programme in order to achieve the best possible sporting results in 2016, however, we feel it is fair to all involved that we can provide a heads-up ahead of 2017 as early as possible.”
Mr Möller said he wished the team well beyond 2016.
And following the decision, Garry Rogers had indicated his intention to again run Volvo cars without factory support in the 2017 Supercars season, but a second bombshell may prevent him from doing so...
Cyan Racing has announced its intention to ‘recall’ all of the S60 racing cars and their engines (pictured, below) to Sweden at the conclusion of the 2016 championship.
“Volvo Car Group’s performance brand Polestar is our assignor in motorsport and decisions from this group sets the precedent for our agenda,” Cyan Racing said in a statement.
“This means that we will cease the activities with Garry Rogers Motorsport in the V8 Supercars after 2016 and bring back our engines and race cars to Sweden after the season end.”
Speaking with TMR, Volvo Australia’s Greg Bosnich said the decision was based on business objectives, and that Volvo, Polestar and Cyan had decided to concentrate on other championships around the world.
Mr Bosnich said Volvo’s official motorsport channels were run through Polestar, and that the carmaker was not looking to support a privately-run operation in any Australian motorsport championship.
The withdrawal of the Volvo team will put further pressure on Nissan, which is set to announce whether it will continue in the sport soon.
Erebus Racing switched from Mercedes-AMG to Holden for the 2016 season, and Ford has already withdrawn its full factory support from the series.
This could potentially leave Holden as the only manufacturer with a factory-backed team in the 2017 championship - and a withdrawal from Nissan along the same lines as Volvo could leave a handful of Ford Falcons as Holden’s only rival.
Lexus was also tipped to enter the sport, but the carmaker’s enthusiasm may wane if the competition is depleting.
V8 Supercars recently announced a name-change to ‘Supercars Championship’ with new backing from Virgin Australia, as the organisation prepares for new rules allowing turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines.
Volvo driver Scott McLaughlin is currently second in the driver’s 2016 championship following three of the 15 scheduled rounds.
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