Swede disposition for Volvo Supercars re-entry

Ben Carter Roar Guru

By Ben Carter, Ben Carter is a Roar Guru

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    And now there are five. I’ve boycotted the Australian Touring Car Championship for the past 15 years after the organising body declared that it would be a two-make competition.

    But I am very pleased to see the re-entry of vehicles other than Fords and Holdens onto the grid this season.

    The addition of Nissan and Mercedes has, for me, revived interest in the championship, and subsequently the Bathurst 1000 as well.

    It doesn’t even particularly bother me that the Nissans have at times played the role of mid-field team while the Mercs remain something of a hot-and-cold proposition (mainly cold).

    I whole-heartedly welcome the news this past week that Swedish motor company Volvo will make a grand return to domestic circuits next year with a race version of the S60 sedan. Hurrah. Given the sudden influx in manufacturers though, it does make you wonder why they all weren’t allowed to play together for the previous decade-and-a-half.

    Nevertheless, according to the V8 Supercars website, it has taken a fair while for the Volvo management team in Sweden to agree to the new entry.

    Championship organisers have declared that the addition of Volvo – along with Nissan and Mercedes – will assist in underpinning “the viability of the category and its racing teams” and should be considered as “a case of evolution, rather than revolution.”

    They also acknowledged to fans online that there has certainly been interest expressed by other manufacturers for future seasons, although there will be no increase in to maximum number of cars on the start line each round – capped at 28 for the time being.

    Hence, in 2014, there will be two Volvos, three Mercs, four Nissans and the other 19 will be either Fords or Holdens.

    Volvo last turned out a factory-backed runner in the ATCC in 1999, with Robbie Francevic the most notable winner in the Swedish machines, claiming the title in 1986 in a 240T. Rickard Rydell and Jim Richards won at Bathurst in 1998 as well in the S40.

    Former Ford ATCC driver John Bowe, perhaps best known as a team partner of Bathurst legend Dick Johnson, said on Thursday that his first start in the championship, back in the early 1980s, was actually in a Volvo – and it was great to see such an enthusiastic manufacturer involved once again.

    “I’m delighted they are back into it – it’s terrific,” he told reporters.
    “And it shows how committed they are to further the image and brand of Volvo. Too many other manufacturers sit on their hands and wait but this is very proactive… the best news the series has had for years.”

    Hear, hear John. And I wouldn’t put it past a few more car-makers trying their hands (or wheels) at a local touring car tilt, either.

    For mine, in the absence of BMW (in terms of retro charm) it’s nice to see Mercedes having a crack.

    How about Toyota next? An Asia-based team, low travel costs, previous experience in class races in Australia, and the fact that they’re still able to build a suitable-sized car are just a couple of the reasons why it might work.

    Or, equally considering its own rallying pedigree, what about Subaru? Or Audi? The more the merrier I say! It certainly makes it more interesting.

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 12:43pm
      Seano said | June 22nd 2013 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      While all the chassis are the same now as is the box and diff companies still must make there own 8cyl normally aspirated engines, how would Subaru enter old mate? Nissan use the patrol motor, Merc the AMG, Toyota have plenty but suby? And would super cars allow a flat 8 as opposed to the V8s of the other teams? I’m glad it has caught your imagination but it’s lost mine, I want heaps of makes too but I want derivatives of road cars, like touring cars or superbikes, this stuff is rubbish!

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 12:51pm
      naca said | June 22nd 2013 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

      The S40 ran in the Australian super touring championship not the Australian touring car championship, which was what v8 supercars became. Toyota have on many occasions said no, they would of even been able to technically enter v8sc previously but didn’t.

    • June 23rd 2013 @ 11:01am
      nordster said | June 23rd 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

      Id like to be able to get into the local series again. But it still seems very controlled, i guess that is the way of this series. Is it all still formulated for aero and engine levels? Good to have a mix of logos racing around though, better than the two make series…agree with u there Ben. And having the Swedes in the mix, i like that!

      Have turned into a DTM fan in recent years, lately more so since i found the full versions of the qualies and races on the DTMde youtube channel, in German lol. Great to see the whole thing, then watch the highlights on Speed hd in english later.

      On a side note, any chance of a Motor Sport tab, Roar eds?

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