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20 April 2011

Volvo Polestar Racing keen on keeping the 2011 STCC title

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation
After last year's championship victory, Volvo Polestar Racing is keen to hold onto their title as the 2011 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) gets underway on April 23, 2011 in Jyllandsringen, Denmark. Temperatures are running high in the team's headquarters as they're even more determined to win both the team and driver's championship again. 

The Quick C30 DRIVe
The team will be campaigning two newly-developed Volvo C30's for this year's season. STCC rules require teams to run chassis based on the standard production cars, but the only parts that remained original were the C30's body shell and doors. Polestar Racing was also given special access to Volvo's wind tunnel to further improve the car's aerodynamics with the addition of a front air splitter, wider wheel arches, and a rear wing. By stripping the C30 to its bare necessities, they were able to bring its weight down to 1,164 kg.  
The all-aluminum block and head of its 2.0 liter 5-cylinder engine might be based on a standard Volvo T5 engine, but all the other components were re-designed to maximize the car's performance. Designed and tested in-house by Polestar, modifications in the valves, camshafts, pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft pushed the horsepower from 148 to a head-splitting 285. The Polestar C30 then drives all that power to the front wheels though a 6-speed sequential gearbox with twin-disc carbon fiber clutch and mechanical differential.

“During the winter, we have virtually designed a completely new chassis and we have two multiple champions behind the wheel. There will be no excuses this year,” says Christian Dahl, Team Manager for Volvo Polestar Racing.

Team Drivers
Since winning the 2010 STCC Driver's Title, Robert Dahlgren has left the Volvo Polestar Racing team. Taking his seat for this season is James Thompson, two-time champion in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) (2002 and 2004) and European Touring Car Championship (2009 and 2010). 

Thompson, who has already settled in with his new team, said, “I have competed as a works driver in the BTCC, ETCC, and the WTCC for several manufacturers and top teams, and I am impressed with Volvo Polestar Racing. There is a lot of confidence and know-how in the team. I am really looking forward to the season now." 

Driving for the team since 2008, 2009 STCC Champion Tommy Rustad will once again take his position behind the wheel of the Volvo Polestar C30.
Keeping the Title
The Volvo Polestar Racing team will be stronger than ever in this upcoming season. With two experienced drivers, the team will be hoping for many podium finishes and a repeat of last year's success. The 2011 STCC is a nine-race series that begins on April 23 and continues on until September.

The team is also racing in the World Touring Car Championships (WTCC) with a similarly-constructed C30 that's powered by a 1.6 liter turbocharged engine based on Volvo's latest line of engines.