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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got word, Volvo has chosen to pull out of the European Touring Car Championship with the S60 and the Swedish Touring Car Championship with the S40. I'll have more details up on the main site in about an hour.
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC ([email protected])

the Volvo press release is up on the main site. Here's a response from Prodrive.

30 October 2002

Prodrive supports Volvo ETCC withdrawal

Prodrive fully backs Volvo's decision today to withdraw from European
Touring Car racing. Prodrive and Volvo jointly agreed that it was not
in the best interests of the S60 Racing Team to try and compete
without the necessary financial resources.

"We pride ourselves on the highest levels of professionalism and we
agreed with Volvo that if we did not have the correct budget for 2003,
that it would be in neither parties interest to continue," said Hugh
Chambers, group marketing director, Prodrive. "In this way, we
maintain the opportunity to revisit the programme at a later stage
when the economic conditions are more favourable."

During the 2002 season, the Volvo S60 Racing Team secured eight podium
finishes as well as a pole position in the final race. The Volvo S60
was widely regarded as one of the best handling cars in the
championship. The project has suffered from a series of regulation
changes during the season, which have compromised the resources of the
team. This has made it difficult to create a clear long-term strategy
with the financial stability that is required to justify the
investment.

Prodrive now aims to redeploy its staff involved in the programme
elsewhere in the business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC ([email protected])

Well, they haven't decided what to do yet with this year's S60 racecars. There was the potential to put them in the STCC. However, that's not going to happen.

That could be done theoretically. One problem with that though is that the S60 is large and heavy. They'd probably be wiser to hold off and race the next gen S40.

If Ford were smart, they could develope those cars for different Touring series and run the Focus, the 3 and the S40 all in those series to realize economies of scale savings on the developement.
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC ([email protected])

quote:

If Ford were smart, they could develope those cars for different Touring series and run the Focus, the 3 and the S40 all in those series to realize economies of scale savings on the developement.
That would be a very smart move indeed. Ford has already shown off the potential and excellence of the Focus chassis with the WRC & RS. Realiizng economies of scale with the next gen Focus, 3, and S40 would bring them into the spot-light and start their own "Motorsports" heritage to boot! You know, "Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday".

-Drew
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC (omega6_virus)

NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

*drops to knees, sobbing uncontrollably*

DAMB YOU FORD!!!!!...THIS WASN'T PART OF THE DEAL!!! NOT PART OF THE DEALLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Picks up chair, throws it across room*

http://********************/smile/emthdown.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC (Spearzy)

I don't believe it was a choice by Ford. Granted, they may be tightening things at Volvo, but I'd guess there's more at play here. In order to really win (i.e. not just some podium finishes, remember they got no all out wins this season), they'd have had to invest fairly heavily in the 2003 season cars.

The rules were changed on Volvo at the last minute last season. So redeveloping for those rules is one thing. I believe they also had to campaign six cars according to the agreement with FIA/ETCC which they got a pass on this season because of the late rule change that BMW dictated.

Remember also, Volvo didn't get really dominant until they started developing the larger lighter S40 when the 850 was replaced. I'd guess they'll return with the S40 at some point.

And, following the economies of scale argument above, the theory there is that the Ford Focus sedan and the Mazda 3 could also be entered with significantly less investment providing they all don't differ hugely in sizes and weights.

It's a shame though. Back in the day of BTCC and STW in '96-'98, a ton of factories were involved and the sport was second only to F1 in Europe. That's not the case anymore. Still, you gotta think that it could be if they had the right formula and manufacturers supported it.

Think about it, Touring as a sport is a lot closer to the grass roots of Stock Car than NASCAR is. The original stock car was running modified road cars. Today's NASCAR is a purpose built racecar that shares little if any similarities to its roadgoing equivalent.

From a marketing standpoint, virtually any car manufacturer except Porsche, Ferrari, Rolls Royce etc. could compete. If they could standardize the rules for series in different parts of the world (Britain, Germany, Italy, North America, South America, heck anywhere that would support it), they could have a dominant worldwide series with a World Cup at the end of the season where the top three champions of each series go to the event and race.

Even cooler is that the platform strategy could work here. If GM developes an Opel for a German TCC, the same technology could be applied to a Saab or Saturn team, keeping costs down, but entrants local (i.e. Saturn team in USA, Saab team in Sweden) or wherever they wanted to promote a particular brand. That also makes room for B brands like a Saturn.

Oh well, maybe someday it'll happen and sports like boring old NASCAR and semi boring old F1 will not be so dominant.
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC ([email protected])

Volvo really did get the short end of it when they changed the rules this past season. Even still, Rydell did a masterful job of driving his S60 and still got podium results.

Hopefully someone else will recognize that the cars are competetive given the proper driver and will continue on since Volvo has stated that they are willing to support someone else who wants at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC (Carl Sims)

Here's some more info on what might happen next season. The below press release is from the ETCC website.

FIA European Touring Car Championship promoter KSO has been informed today of Volvo Car Corporations' decision to stop their motorsport works activities for 2003.
During the 2002 season, Volvo was one of the three Manufacturers officially entered to the Championship and the two Prodrive-built S60 cars driven by Rickard Rydell and James Hanson proved to be competitive with the Alfa Romeo and BMW cars. Rydell was classified fifth in the Drivers' Championship, with eight podium results (four second places and four third) out of the series' twenty rounds, and one pole position; Hanson was classified tenth in the Drivers' Championship.
"It's a shame that Volvo decided against continuing the FIA ETCC programme, because they and Prodrive have worked hard to improve. The results are there to prove they all did a good job. I would like to thank Volvo and their motorsport manager Mr. Olle Odsell, for the cooperation they gave us all along the season," KSO general manager Marcello Lotti declared.
Despite the decision taken by Volvo Cars, three Volvo S60s are expected to take part in the 2003 FIA European Touring Car Championship. Volvo Motorsport would be pleased to see the cars run by one or two independent teams and is willing to supply them with cars, engines and spare parts. Contacts are currently undergoing with a number of professional teams and a decision is due to be communicated shortly.
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC ([email protected])

I caught the last half of an awesome FIA European Touring Car race last night. At the end of the one round Rydell was finished behind two Alfas (leading) and behind two BMWs (trying to catch alfas!). In the final round The BMWs started off ahead of the alfas, then the Alfas both pulled through the pack of Beemers and Rydell made a late round charge getting by the BMWs, spectacular driving with a little paint exchange in the corners!
Anyway, just thought I'd post about my enjoyment watcing this race, I usually miss them when there on TV. I used to catch the BTCC races often back with Speedvision, I thought the new Speed channel was the NASCAR network until this week. They even had a cool import tuner program followed by FIA world rally! This is what I like to see on TV!! Now, if they through in a little motocross I'd be on cloud 9!
Is touring car races on a regular weekly programming now? Heck I'd set my VCR if I'm not around the normal air time.
Cheers. http://********************/smile/embeer.gif
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC ([email protected])

Well Ford apparently isn't smart, since Jaguars aren't really Jaguars anymore (their latest "luxury" sedan is built on top of the mundane Ford passenger car), and I am guessing that Ford's (Fix Or Repair Daily, Found On Road Dead, F***ed Over Rebuilt Dodge) having purchased Volvo has a lot to do with the pulling out of ETCC and STCC (they probably want to drive Volvos left NASCAR *yawn* style *boring!!*). If anything, the outstanding performance at Nurburgring is a testament to the kick-ass factor found in Volvo cars. Ah, oh well. I wonder if the drivers will be picked up by one of the Italian manufacturers...

-he who stacks pork
 

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Re: Volvo To Pull Out of ETCC and STCC (G[email protected])

Glad to pass on the knowledge. I just really missed seeing the S40 race in BTCC. I was fortunate enough to see it when I was watching FIA World Rally. Did you guys know that Nicky Grist, Colin McRae's old co-driver who he recently got rid of, used to drive a modified S60 AWD (at least it seems like a modified S60 AWD) to scout out the trails for pace notes. I don't know if Colin's co-driver still uses that car. The car's specs can be seen here http://www.fordrallyesport.com/menuNews/newsdetail.asp?idNewsItemSection=5&opt=1&idNews=745&x=0. The ETCC races will be on every Sunday at 9:00pm EST. The second race was much more exciting IMO. Those ALFAs are really quick. The schedule is as follows:
Magny Cours Nov 3
Silverstone Nov 10
Czech Republic Nov 17
Spain Nov 24
Sweden Dec 1
Germany Dec 8
Spa Dec 15
Italy Dec 22
Donington Park Dec 29
Portugal Jan 5
Hope this helps you guys that want to watch the races. I know I will be watching them all!!
 
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