Early end to Dahlgren’s Volvo V8 test debut

The GRM crew left the circuit in the early afternoon

The GRM crew left the circuit in the early afternoon

Swede Robert Dahlgren enjoyed a brief debut in Volvo Polestar Racing’s V8 Supercar today as the team continues to develop its engine package.

The Phillip Island hit-out marked the first track running for the Polestar-developed B8444S, which had previously completed only the team’s straightline aero testing.

Although able to handle the less intensive straightline work, engine issues are understood to have curtailed today’s testing.

Team owner Garry Rogers confirmed that his crew had packed up and left the circuit by the early afternoon, but downplayed the seriousness of any problems.

“We went ok,” he told Speedcafe.com of the test.

“We didn’t really do a lot because we still only have a small amount of engines to do everything we have to do before (the pre-season test in) Sydney, but we did enough to be happy it with and we were.

“It was a good chance for Robert to blend in with everybody as obviously he’s not familiar with the team other than the few weeks he’s been here.”

Polestar managing director Christian Dahl returned to Australia at the weekend ahead of today’s test, while the head of the company’s engine department is expected to arrive in the coming days.

While development of the exhaust and airbox package has largely been undertaken in GRM’s Melbourne workshop, Rogers stressed that integrating the Swedish and Australian programs has not been an issue.

“All of that has fitted in, we’re happy with that and more engines are arriving in the coming days, so we’re looking alright,” he said.

Rogers added that his team is unconcerned by the lack of final sign-off on the aerodynamic package following last month’s three-way aerodynamic homologation running against the Ford Falcon and Nissan Altima at East Sale.

A V8 Supercars spokesman confirmed to Speedcafe.com today that the category is still analysing the results of the testing, which must balance the aerodynamic performance of all five manufacturers now represented in the championship.

Meanwhile, the second Volvo looks unlikely to enjoy a shakedown before the pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park, but will “absolutely” be on track on February 15.

“The second car is finished and today at the workshop we were just wrapping up the odds and ends colour wise,” he said.

“At this stage I don’t think we’ll have time (to complete a shakedown) but ideally we would, so we’ll see how we go.”

Last year saw newcomer Nissan field just two of its four new Altimas at Sydney Motorsport Park as it raced to get ready for the season.

Engine development proved the biggest challenge for both Nissan and fellow 2013 debutant Erebus Motorsport, with both suffering reliability issues at the test and Adelaide’s season opener.

Erebus was on track today at Queensland Raceway evaluating a number of development items, as well as its Academy driver Jack Le Brocq.

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