Strong test performance and unquestionable desire prompt works team call-up

Argentine to drive Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 at Twin Ring Motegi

José María López’s former nemesis to fight for full-time 2017 WTCC ride


Néstor Girolami’s pace and perseverance have been rewarded with a great opportunity to stake his claim for a full-time drive in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.

The back-to-back Súper TC2000 champion from Argentina will pilot a factory Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 at FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next month, replacing Robert Dahlgren in representing the Swedish make alongside Thed Björk.

Girolami’s inclusion in the Polestar Cyan Racing line-up at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September comes after he impressed team chiefs during a specially arranged test at Circuito Termas de Río Hondo earlier this month, and in light of his determination to compete in the fastest pan-continental touring car series.

While the agreement is currently for Japan only, the 27-year-old will be eager to impresses sufficiently and secure a long-term WTCC future. “It’s wonderful to be part of the WTCC again and I am very grateful to Polestar Cyan Racing for this opportunity to race in Japan when I will give all my best to have a great weekend,” he said. “I feel very well in this world of World Touring Cars. It’s my objective to be part of the WTCC next year and I will fight for it.”

He continued: “I shared the Argentina race weekend with the team and I learned a lot about the car before the test. I felt very comfortable during the test, the team worked hard to improve the performance and develop the car. The test was very, very good for me and a good opportunity to show what I can do. I did 30 laps and the conclusions were very good. I felt a great potential in the Volvo S60. My goal for Japan is to take this one step further and, above all, demonstrate that I have the speed, engineering skills and race craft to become a part of the team in the future.”

Girolami, who narrowly lost the 2013 Súper TC2000 title to double World Touring Car champion José María López, made two appearances in last year’s WTCC, scoring a point on his debut in Slovakia and finishing eighth in Vila Real. However, he opted for a switch to the Stock Car Brasil series for 2016 when hopes of a season-long world championship campaign diminished.

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, welcomed Polestar Cyan Racing’s decision to recruit Girolami for WTCC Race of Japan. “Argentina has so many talented touring car drivers to offer. Néstor ran José María López so close in the Súper TC2000 championship in 2013 before going on to clinch the title in 2014 and 2015. He now has the perfect shop window to deliver on his potential for Polestar Cyan Racing.”

Dahlgren, meanwhile, will now focus on his Scandinavian Touring Car Championship bid. With two events remaining, the Swede is 11 points off the title pace.

Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar, said: “We have chosen to let Robert focus his efforts on the STCC as he is in a competitive position for the title and at the same time utilise the unique opportunity to test Néstor during a race weekend, something that will be different next year when our championship title challenge phase begins.”

Polestar Cyan Racing will announce Thed Björk’s team-mate for the season-closing WTCC races in due course.

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