Volvos will race in 2017
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Garry Rogers Motorsport is committed to racing Volvos next year in the V8 Supercars championship, but just where they get them from might be the problem.
Polestar, Volvo’s performance division, has confirmed an exit from the Supercars series after this year, pulling the plug on manufacturer support for Rogers’ team.
Volvo’s Australian chief Kevin McCann says it’s the death knell for the Swedish brand in Supercars.
“In the contract there is a requirement for him to sell the cars back to Polestar,” McCann told motoring.com.au.
“Head office has indicated they won’t support (Volvos in the Supercars series).
“The decision was made at a much higher level than we expected it to be. It’s a decision we now have to live with.
McCann ruled out a dealer-backed team or privateer team running, saying “there are too many elements of the car that are controlled by Polestar to enable that to work successfully.”
Garry Rogers Motorsport issued a statement saying they were aware of Polestar’s pull-out and it hadn’t affected them this season, but failed to address 2017.
“Polestar advised us at the start of this season that their involvement in V8 Supercars had ceased,” Barry Rogers.
“In day to day business, it really doesn’t effect (sic) what we do. Nothing changes from our end.”
Supercars chief executive James Warburton said he was disappointed by the announcement.
“Garry Rogers Motorsport has indicated that it is committed to race Volvos in the 2016 and 2017 seasons and we will continue to have discussions with Volvo Car Australia about its ongoing involvement in the sport,” he said.
The Mercedes brand was lost to the sport in 2016 after Erebus Motorsport switched back to Holdens.
The news is a hammer blow for the Volvo team, who enjoyed their best race meet with the S60s just a fortnight ago.
Scott McLaughlin roared to second in the championship standings, 15 points behind Jamie Whincup, with a clean sweep at Phillip Island.
The series is delicately poised heading to Perth this weekend, with seven drivers including reigning champion Mark Winterbottom within 150 points of Whincup’s lead.
Winterbottom took two wins from the Barbagallo track in 2015.