On day dominated by the marathon Wimbledon men’s final and the nailbiting conclusion to the cricket World Cup, the British Grand Prix, not to be outdone, delivered one of the best Formula One grands prix in years.
First things first, don’t Panic. Volvo are still racing this year, Scott McLaughlin still has a chance in the championship.
Don’t Panic. Everything is fine.
Polestar, Volvo’s performance and motorsport arm, have said in a statement that they have not renewed their contract with Garry Rogers Motorsport to support the team.
First off, this doesn’t mean Volvo is definitely leaving V8 Supercars. Polestar entered the sport in 2014 in a joint agreement with GRM and Volvo Australia. So only one of three backers behind the team have pulled out.
There were signs that Polestar were going to drop their support, with the Polestar branding being replaced with ‘Volvo Cyan Racing’ and ‘Volvo Dealer Racing’. Volvo Cyan racing refers to the Scandinavian Touring Car team which Scott McLaughlin drove for in a one off deal last weekend.
Garry Rogers himself said that “we haven’t dealt with Polestar in over nine months,” believing that news has not changed anything in the current 2017 negotiations.
The move was foreshadowed by comments made by Volvo’s global marketing boss Alain Visser, who said in December 2014 that “Motorsport does not conform with our brand, where we stand for smaller engines and safety.”
The boss planned to pull out of the STCC as soon as possible, although the plans to drop out at the end of 2015 appear to have been dropped, with the S60 still running in the STCC. Volvo also entered the World Touring Car Championship in 2016, further sending mixed messages on their motorsport ambitions.
The news comes in contrast to reports from last week, in which News Corporation Papers said that GRM had signed a deal with Volvo, although the article does not clarify whether the deal pertains to Polestar or Volvo Australia.
However, Volvo Australia is unlikely to continue supporting GRM without Polestar report and are yet to comment on the situation.
It means that we are still yet to any factory support confirmed for 2017 with Ford already out, Holden and Nissan undecided and Volvo unlikely to continue.
The future of V8 Supercars in its current state looks more uncertain day by day. But still, we better enjoy it while it lasts. How awesome would it be if Scott is able to get Volvo a championship in their swansong year?