Volvo Cyan Racing’s involvement with Garry Rogers Motorsports (GRM) in the Virgin Australian Supercars will be terminated at the end of the 2016 year.
In a statement released by Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo Polestar’s racing arm, Niels Möller, Chief operating officer of Polestar reported that Polestar Cyan would be moving on after their three year contract with the Melbourne-based team expires at the end of the year.
”We have enjoyed a good cooperation with Garry Rogers Motorsport and the championship organizers, but our strategy and business objectives requires us now to focus our attention to other technologies and championships in the near future,” according to Möller.
Volvo’s step down follows Polestar’s gradual pull-out from the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship “as soon as the contracts permits” despite the debut of the Polestar Cyan World Touring Car Championship team this year.
Critically, Volvo’s pullout also demands the S60 cars and V8 engines in the Virgin Australian Championships be returned to Sweden, preventing team GRM from running and developing the cars as a privateer effort, along the likes of Erebus Motorsports and Prodrive Racing Australia.
Volvo is the third manufacturer to step away from Virgin Australia Supercars, following Mercedes-Benz leaving Erebus Motorsports and Ford Australia ditching Prodrive Racing Australia. Nissan Motorsports has yet to resign with Kelly Racing, and Holden’s future is unknown.
Despite Supercars moving to a “Gen 2” formula allowing non-sedan based bodies and non-V8 engines in 2017, no new teams have committed to the sport and three teams have stepped out of the sport after the introduction of the Car of the Future in 2013.
Team GRM is yet to comment on future plans in the series, but has two Holden Commodores running in the Dunlop Series that are theoretically eligible for use in the main game series if GRM does not get permission to run the Volvo S60 beyond 2016.
Over their three year collaboration with Volvo, GRM has netted seven victories, 17 podiums and 17 pole positions so far. Team star Scott McLaughlin’s contract with GRM expires at the end of the season, with his future hailed as one of the keys to this year’s silly season.
Team GRM hits the track at the Perth Supersprint at Barbagallo Raceway this weekend.