Volvo Polestar Racing enters WTCC races in Shanghai with Thed Björk
Volvo Polestar Racing will take part in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) races at Shanghai International Circuit in China with newly crowned Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) champion Thed Björk.
"We are entering this race to check the pulse of WTCC, as well as celebrating Thed Björk's amazing performance in the STCC this year," said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Motorsport Commercial Director at Volvo Cars.
Björk, who secured the 2013 STCC title after winning nine of twelve races this season, is going to drive a Volvo C30 1.6T in the two races in China on November 2-3rd.
"I am looking forward to make my WTCC debut with Volvo and I am very grateful to get this opportunity. The WTCC is a very competitive championship and the challenge for us is going to be great, but that is only fueling my motivation," said Björk.
Volvo Polestar Racing ran one Volvo C30 1.6T with Robert Dahlgren in the 2011 WTCC, the very car Björk is going to drive at Shanghai.
"We moved our focus to the Volvo S60 model as our primary car for motorsport in 2012, the model that we are currently racing in Sweden and USA and that we will race in the Australian V8 Supercars next year. While our S60 model does not match WTCC well today, we still think WTCC represents possibly the best value for money and one-fits-all global motorsport solution if you want to race with a smaller c-segment car. Consequently, we are keen on staying closely informed and this is precisely our objective with Shanghai, not outright performance and results," said Murdzevski Schedvin.
32-year-old Björk is one of the most merited Swedish racing drivers with experience from F3000, DTM and Le Mans. His merits include two STCC titles, the 2001 FIA Sportscar SR2 title and the 1999 Swedish and Nordic Formula 3 titles. Björk is going to face touch opposition from drivers such as Yvan Muller (Chevrolet) and Gabriele Tarquini (Honda) in the WTCC races at Shanghai.
"We know that we have got a tough race weekend ahead of us as we never before have raced at the circuit. We keep our ambitions realistic, to make it to the top ten would be a great result, but our main mission is to gather data and information. Nonetheless, I am going to give my very best and there is no doubt that we have two exciting races ahead of us," said Björk.
About Thed Björk
- Lives in Karlskoga, Sweden
- Born on December 14th, 1980
- Career history:
- 2013 - STCC Champion
- 2012 - TTA 3rd
- 2011 - Camaro Cup Sweden Champion
- 2009 - STCC 2nd
- 2008 - STCC 3rd
- 2006 - STCC Champion
- 2005 - STCC 2nd
- 2003 - GTR Sweden Champion
- 2001 - FIA SR2 Champion
- 1999 - Nordic F3 Champion
- 1999 - Swedish F3 Champion
New era begins as first Volvo Ocean 65 comes through pull-down test
The first of the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats has come safely through a rigorous round of testing – including a heart-stopping pull-down test putting the boat at an angle of 50 degrees – and is on track to be declared “ready to sail” by the end of the week.
Radical, high-performance, tough and designed around the demands of digital communications – the new Volvo Ocean 65s mark the first use of a one-design boat in the 40-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The new 65-foot yacht was designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the UK, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The fleet of new boats will be used for the first time in the 12th edition of the round-the-world race starting in just over a year’s time on October 4 2014 in Alicante and will be tough enough to be used again in 2017-18.
The new boat left the Green Marine boatyard in southern England on Monday and touched the water for the first time that evening. It has since undergone extensive testing, overseen by class manager James Dadd, and it should be taken out for its first sail on Thursday before being given the green light and handed over to Team SCA at the end of the week.
The pull-down test, simulating a failure of the canting keel system, is far from the only hurdle that has to be cleared before the boat is given the green light to be raced but it is easily the most spectacular.
The new boat was heeled to 50 degrees while the keel was canted fully to the same side as an extreme way of testing the automatic keel centring mechanism.
“This is a significant test for the boat, and particularly the keel bulkheads and support structure,” said Dadd. The Volvo Ocean 65 has significantly more internal structure and higher design margins than previous Volvo Ocean Race boats.
“It’s also a good test of the canting mechanism, with a much higher load than when we are sailing, as in this test we are only using one ram instead of two.
“It’s a case of taking the boat way beyond normal sailing loads.”
Other tests have included a structural integrity bend test to check how much deflection is in the hull, an engine test and a cooling, oil and fuel system test.
While Team SCA – the first female team to enter the race in over a decade – are preparing to take delivery of their Volvo Ocean 65, further down the production line, work has already begun on boat number seven. The other boats will be rolled out over the coming months.
The shift to a strict one-design solution is a radical strategic move for the race – a move that drastically improves cost efficiency for the teams and their sponsors. It also puts more emphasis than ever before on the racing out on the water rather than on who has designed the quickest boat.
"If it hadn't been for the new One Design rule, then I probably wouldn't have done the race again," says Ian Walker, who is returning in 2014-15 to skipper Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. "It's definitely going to be the tightest race in history."
Editors' Notes: The Volvo Ocean Race
- The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the 12th running of the 40-year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
- The race will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.
- The 39,379-nautical mile route will include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (Rhode Island, US), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France).
- The next two editions will be contested in a new high-performance boat, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
- The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail”. The boats incorporate the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09.
- The all-female Team SCA were the first to announce their participation in the 2014-15 edition. Backed by SCA, the global hygiene and forest products company, they will be the first all-women's team to compete in the race since 2001-02. The second team announced so far, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, will once again feature Britain's twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker as skipper.
- The previous Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, in July 2012.
He did it! - Irv Gordon reaches 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo 1800S
On September 18, million-miler Irv Gordon and his 1966 Volvo 1800S finally reached their phenomenal goal of hitting the 3 million miles mark – the same distance as 120 laps around the world. They did it near the village of Hope, on the Seward Highway, south of Anchorage in the state of Alaska; the one remaining state where Irv and his famous car had not been together until now.
”It was all rather undramatic,” said Irv. ”We just cruised along and I kept an eye on the odometer in order not to miss the great moment”. At 4.00PM on September 18, the meter ticked over, indicating that Irv and his Volvo had finally achieved those dreamed-of three million miles that they set out to reach many years ago.
“But it has really not been about just getting to the three million miles; it’s more about the trips that got me to the three million miles and what I have experienced getting there,” Irv continues. “I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”
A true love affair
Irv Gordon bought his Volvo 1800 S on a Friday back in 1966 and immediately fell in love. He simply couldn’t stop driving the car – it was a holiday weekend – and brought the car back to the dealership the following Monday for its 1,500-mile service. With a 125-mile round-trip daily commute, a fanatical dedication to vehicle maintenance and a passion for driving, Gordon logged 500,000 miles in 10 years. In 1987, he celebrated his one-millionth mile driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in Central Park and in 2002, he drove the car's two-millionth mile down Times Square to international media attention. Since then, Gordon has broken his record every time he drives his celebrated car.
A solid world record
For the 3 million mile record, the car was transported on board a covered truck to Alaska and Irv followed by plane. A few days of driving around got the meter closer to the magic mark and the highway leading to the beautiful Seward peninsula was chosen for the occasion. 3,000,000 miles is by far the longest mileage one man and one and the same car have reached together and this world record is included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Volvo Cars and Volvo Cars Heritage proudly express their congratulations to an outstanding achievement, done by an outstanding gentleman and his outstanding car! This is by far the best proof of Volvo quality, longevity and reliability one could possibly ask for. And Irv Gordon is the man who has done it.