New challenges awaits Volvo Polestar Racing in 2015 STCC premiere

thumbMEDIA RELEASE: touring cars – The 2015 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship season starts this weekend with new challenges awaiting Volvo Polestar Racing as the first race of the year takes place at a brand new event: STCC Volvo Race Skövde.

“One of the best things for me is to learn new circuits and to start the season with a brand new airport circuit suits me perfectly, especially as we have a lot of Volvo fans and partners in Skövde,” said reigning champion Thed Björk.

Björk claimed his second straight STCC title last year and is aiming to become the first ever driver to win three straight titles, a feat no other driver has accomplished in the 19-year history of the championship.

”My goal is to become the first with three straight titles. But that is not something that I am focusing on now, but rather to do my best and score the best possible in each race.

“And that is no easy task, I have driven too many STCC seasons to take anything for granted and the opposition in the top is as tough as ever this year. But I feel confident ahead of the weekend, I had a really good pre-season test,” said Björk.

But Björk is not alone in having high ambitions as team mate Fredrik Ekblom has his sights set on a fourth STCC title.

”My goal is as always on the top step. But there is more to it than that of course, it is just as important for us to together win the team title for Volvo and Polestar,” said Ekblom.

The triple STCC champion had a tough season last year, stopped by mechanical failures and incidents, but still won as many races as team mate Björk.

”Last year was tough and there were many factors to it. But I have put that behind me. I had the pace to win all season last year and I had a great pre-season test this year. I am more than ready for the season start,” said Ekblom.

Prince Carl Philip starts his third STCC season this year and comes boosted by a strong pre-season test two weeks ago where he was seventh fastest overall.

”I was pleased with the test and that is of course a boost ahead of the season start. Adding to the excitement this weekend is the new circuit and I am very much looking forward to start racing again,” said Prince Carl Philip.

A total of 13 drivers from seven teams, representing Volvo, BMW, Kia, Dacia and Saab, will take part in the 2015 STCC season start at the all-new STCC Volvo Race Skövde this weekend.

The circuit is located in Skövde, one of the key cities for Volvo in terms of manufacturing and partners.

”Skövde is one of the most important races of the calendar, especially as it is the home race for many of our partners and we are excited to get to an all-new circuit. We have a stellar line-up for the season and look forward to start our charge to challenge for the 2015 STCC titles,” said Christian Dahl, CEO of Polestar.

carThere are some changes in the championship this year, join us as we walk through them:

A new airport circuit
The season start will take place at the all-new STCC Volvo Race Skövde. The circuit features a high-speed layout, see above for a circuit map, that will put high demands on the drivers to learn during the race weekend without any prior experience or data to rely on.

Changed qualifying regulations
Last year had the grid for the first race reversed on the result of the first qualifying session. This year the grid will instead be reversed for the second race. The change has been done after criticism was voiced over slower drivers starting in front for the first race, causing accidents that made drivers miss the second race.

New tyres
A new tyre manufacturer has been introduced for the 2015 season with Michelin replacing Yokohama. The drivers have so far reported no major differences between the tyres, but with limited pre-season testing, the duration and behaviour during race runs is an unknown so far.

Twilight race
Another change is the introduction of a single day twilight event at Mantorp Park. The third race of the year on June 25th will be held over one day with qualifying in the morning and races in the evening, using the short circuit of Mantorp Park for more action to the spectators.

STCC Volvo Race Skövde Schedule
Friday 8/5
10:20–10:50 Test 1
13:10–13:40 Test 2
16:00–16:15 Qualifying 1
16:20–16:40 Qualifying 2

Saturday 9/5
12:20–12:45 Race 1 (25 min)
15:05–15:30 Race 2 (25 min)

2015 STCC Calendar
08-09/05 Skövde Airport
29-30/05 Anderstorp
25/06 Mantorp Park
10-11/07 Falkenberg
14-15/08 Karlskoga
11-12/09 Solvalla
25-26/09 Knutstorp

Drivers – Volvo Polestar Racing 2015

Thed Björk
Lives: Karlskoga, Sweden
Born: 14 December 1980
Race Car: Volvo S60 Polestar STCC
History:
2014 – STCC – Champion
2013 – STCC – Champion
2012 – TTA – 3rd
2011 – Camaro Cup – Champion
2009 – STCC – 2nd
2008 – STCC – 3rd
2006 – STCC – Champion
2005 – STCC – 2nd
2003 – GTR Sweden – Champion
2001 – FIA Sportscar SR2 – Champion
1999 – F3 Sweden & Nordic – Champion

Fredrik Ekblom
Lives: Kumla, Sweden
Born: 6 October 1970
Race Car: Volvo S60 Polestar STCC
History:
2014 – STCC – 3rd
2012 – TTA – Champion
2011 – STCC – 2nd
2010 – STCC – 3rd
2008 – STCC – 2nd
2008 – Nürburgring 24 Hours Winner S1 Class
2007 – STCC – Champion
2004 – STCC – 3rd
2003 – STCC – 2nd
2003 – STCC – Champion
1998 – STCC – Champion
1991 – F3000 UK – 2nd
1990 – F3 Sweden – 2nd

Prince Carl Philip Bernadotte
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Born: 13 May 1979
Race Car: Volvo S60 Polestar STCC
History:
2014 – STCC – 12th
2013 – STCC – 13th
2012 – Swedish GT GTB – 4th
2011 – Porsche Carrera Cup – 11th
2010 – Porsche GT3 Endurance – Champion
2009 – Porsche Carrera Cup – 15th
2008 – Porsche Carrera Cup – 27th

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