We’ve been getting so many April Fools stories, we’re finding it increasingly difficult to determine which stories are legitimate from the ones that are bogus. Fortunately – and after careful reading – this one is completely authentic.
Volvo – not exactly the first brand you’d think of in terms of racing – is entering the new S60 in the Belgian Touring Car Series. No punch lines there.
Naturally, the S60 that will compete in the Belgian TOCA has been modified for racing conditions. It’s been fitted with a racing body kit they’re calling ‘Silhouette S1’, a tubular frame chassis, a modified suspension, and high-performance brakes.
In addition to that, Volvo also modified the S60’s engine to a mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces an output of 410 horsepower and 412 Nm of torque.
"The all-new Volvo S60 sports sedan is Volvo’s most exciting driving experience so far and there is no better way to show this than by bringing it to the race track,” said Bart Crols, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Belgium. “Volvo and the all-new S60 have a special place in the people’s hearts here as several Volvo models, including the new S60, are built in Belgium at the Volvo Cars Ghent plant."
Press Release after the jump
Volvo Cars enters the all-new Volvo S60 in the Belgian Touring Car Series
Just weeks after the all-new Volvo S60 was introduced to the public, the latest Volvo model is also being unveiled in a racing version. Volvo Cars Belgium will enter the new car in the 2010 season of the Belgian Touring Car Series. Volvo fans will not need to wait long to see the latest model in action since the premiere takes place on April 11.
"We are very happy about this development," says Bart Crols, Managing Director at Volvo Cars Belgium. "The all-new Volvo S60 sports sedan is Volvo’s most exciting driving experience so far and there is no better way to show this than by bringing it to the race track. Volvo and the all-new S60 have a special place in the people’s hearts here as several Volvo models, including the new S60, are built in Belgium at theVolvo Cars Ghent plant."
The new Volvo S60 race car has been developed in record time locally by Volvo’s Belgian S60 Racing Team. It has been developed in accordance with the BTCS Silhouette S1 regulations which put a major emphasis on standardised features. All cars must use a tubular chassis, the same type of front and rear suspension and aerodynamics. A uniform type of engine specification is also available but manufacturers are allowed to use own engines.
The Volvo S60 Racing Team will also operate the car at all BTCS races and the drivers are Vincent Radermecker and Eric Van De Poele.
Its maiden track test will take place on April 1 (today) on the Belgian Zolder track.
"It has been a hectic period, but we have received great assistance from Volvo Cars’ Motorsport department" says Thomas Neri, Team Manager for the Volvo S60 Racing Team. He continues: "Our main objective is to get up to speed and to compete well in the various heats. Next season we hope to put our own in-house developed engine in the car."
BTCS - low cost, high-performance racing
The BTCS is an endurance racing championship with six competitions on tracks such as Spa-Francorchamps, Zolder and Dijon. Each race consists of two 90-minute heats and there is also one 12-hour race in Spa. The all-new Volvo S60 will face intense competition from the likes of BMW, Audi, Jaguar and VW. BTCS has grown rapidly in terms of both competing brands and numbers thanks to its low-cost, high-performance combination and, not least, the fact that the cars have considerable visual appeal. The race series is televised in several countries and is gaining in popularity.
"We will support and follow our development in this series very closely as several other national championships are considering similar standardised regulations in the future," says Derek Crabb, Motorsport Director at the Volvo Car Corporation. "This BTCS campaign will give us a good understanding of what these types of regulations can mean for Volvo."
Technical Specification Volvo S60 BTCS
Regulation: BTCS Silhouette S1
Chassis: Tubular frame
Front Suspension: Independent with 3-way adjustable shock absorbers
Rear Suspension: Independent with 3-way onboard adjustable shock absorbers
Brakes: 6-piston callipers, 380 mm discs at the front and 6-piston callipers, 355 mm discs at the rear
Engine: Mid-mounted standardised 3500 cc V6
Engine Power Output: 410 hp with 412 Nm at 5500rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed sequential. Rear-wheel drive
Wheels: 10" X 18" front and 12" X 18" rear
Tyres: Michelin 27/65/18 front and Michelin 30/65/18 rear
2010 Racing Calendar for the all-new Volvo S60 in the BTCS series
April 9-11 Zolder
April 30-May 2 Dijon-Prenois
June 4-6 Spa-Francorchamps
July 9-10 Spa-Francorchamps
September 17-19 Spa-Francorchamps
October 8-10 Zolder
More information about the Belgian Touring Car Series: http://www.btcseries.be/