Fredrik Ekblom says he and Cyan Racing team-mate Thed Bjork are not getting carried away with their impressive pre-season testing form as Volvo prepare to make its factory return to the World Touring Car Championship this weekend.
Though the Swedish manufacturer has dabbled in WTCC before – most recently with a single C30 entry in 2012 -, the new assault comes courtesy of Polestar, a former tuning company that has now been promoted to Volvo's full scale performance brand.
Since 2012, Polestar has spearheaded Volvo's dominance in the Swedish Touring Car Championship, as well as a competitive turn in the Australian V8 Supercar series. Now it is turning its attention to WTCC with Ekblom and Bjork, who have clinched multiple domestic titles between them.
Using an adapted version of the S60 platform it uses in Sweden and Australia, the car has proven quick in pre-season testing, with many predicting Bjork and Ekblom could be the surprise packages of the year. However, Ekblom insists expectations are still modest as they develop on a global stage for the first time.
“While the pre-season testing in Vallelunga showed promising pace, both me and Thed have been on this level of motorsport for so long that we know that it is too early to draw any conclusions.
“It will be extremely interesting this weekend to see where we are compared to our competitors that have many years behind them in this championship, while we start with a clean sheet of paper. I am eager to get going and it will be a big moment for us all in the team to start this journey.”