Volvo has confirmed it will pull out of the domestic Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) when its 2015 contract ends. More, it may also bow out of Australia’s V8 Supercars.
Speaking with Swedish paper Dagens Industri, Volvo Cars’ new marking boss Alain Visser said that motorsport “does not conform with our brand”, which he said is focused on small efficient engines and a long-standing commitment to safety.
“We are therefore pulling out of STCC for example as soon as the contracts permits,” Visser said.
Volvo had also been expected to compete in the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 2016, which will see all cars powered by 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines. That campaign may now also be in doubt.
These comments follow three successive years of Volvo championship wins in the STCC and a reasonably successful first season in Australia’s V8 Supercars series.
In Australia, Volvo and Polestar are partnered with Garry Rogers Motorsport, which had previously campaigned for years as a Holden team.
The team took four race wins in 2014, and new Volvo Car Australia boss Kevin McCann told the V8 Supercars website recently that he is eager to see the local racing campaign continue.
“I think it is a great way to showcase our product and technology. It is a really wonderful rallying point for our staff and our dealer network, who need the motivation and enthusiasm to continue to work the market,” McCann told V8Supercars.com.au in November.
“Sport is really a big part of our [Australian] lives and, if we want to communicate with the Australian public, then sport is an ideal way to go.”
Despite Mr McCann’s enthusiastic support of for the company’s local racing campaign, it too could soon be over.
Speaking with enthusiast site Touring Car Times, a Volvo Polestar spokesperson said “the STCC contract runs out after 2015 and V8 Supercars after 2016”.
“We are going to evaluate our participation after that, as we for example have done a number of times in the past for the STCC, a championship we have taken part in since 1996,” the spokesperson said.
A possible Volvo motorsport exit is unlikely to dent the local Supercar series’ growth, however, with a new format on the way in 2017 that will allow teams with smaller-capacity engines and coupe bodies to campaign.
Catch our earlier coverage of this news below.
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