Polestar Racing History
Cyan Racing was founded in 1996, then under the name Flash Engineering, by racing driver Jan ”Flash” Nilsson to run the factory Volvo team in the inaugural Swedish Touring Car Championship season. Success was imminent as ”Flash” secured the STCC title behind the wheel of a Volvo 850 Super Touring.
Jan ”Flash” Nilsson continued as the team’s sole driver in the Volvo 850 Super Touring and secured a second straight STCC title, despite tougher opposition from BMW, Ford and Opel.
The Volvo S40 model was introduced for the 1998 STCC and the team expanded to two cars with Jens Edman joining Jan ”Flash” Nilsson at mid-point of the season. ”Flash” finished second overall in the championship. The team made its international debut with “Flash” taking part in one race weekend of the Championnat de France de Supertourisme and won the race ahead of Audi, BMW, Ford, Opel and Peugeot teams. Later in the year the team made its second international appearance by taking part in the Guia Race of Macau, finishing fifth.
1999 was a tough season for the team with Jan ”Flash” Nilsson crashing at mid-point of the season and was forced out one race weekend. The team managed to get back with Jens Edman finishing fourth overall and ”Flash” fifth despite the crash.
The team moved from Halmstad to Karlstad ahead of the 2000 season. Reigning STCC champion and future DTM champion Mattias Ekström joined the team as team mate to Jan ”Flash” Nilsson, with Ekström finishing third overall after a close season finale.
Jens Edman was back as team mate to Jan ”Flash” Nilsson for the 2001 STCC season, with ”Flash” finishing second overall after a heated fight with Audi driver Roberto Colciago. The team took part in two races of the European Touring Car Championship, with “Flash” recording seventh as best individual result. The one-make series Volvo S60 Challenge was introduced in Sweden with Cyan Racing running the series in terms of technical support, regulations, etc. Future CEO Christian Dahl joined the team as chief mechanic.
Edward Sandström joined Jan ”Flash” Nilsson for the 2002 STCC season that was the last STCC season with the Super Touring regulations and the Volvo S40 model. ”Flash” finished second overall in the championship after another intense season of fighting with arch-rival and Audi driver Roberto Colciago.
The Volvo S60 model was introduced for the 2003 STCC season, marking the first season with the new FIA S2000 regulations. This meant the start of a new technical development project to develop the Volvo S60 S2000 version for racing in Sweden. The project went under the name “Made in Sweden”, with Swedish suspension manufacturer Öhlins as one of the key partners.
Christian Dahl took over as sole owner of the company during the second half of 2004 as Jan “Flash” Nilsson sold his part of the company. Robert Dahlgren was signed as driver for the STCC, winning his first ever race for Polestar and finished second overall in the STCC.
The company changed name to Polestar in 2005, a name chosen by Christian Dahl to represent the frozen north of Sweden with the pole star and also playing on the connection to pole position and star of racing. Edward Sandström joined Robert Dahlgren in the STCC programme, with Sandström finishing fourth in the drivers’ championship. Cyan Racing took over maintenance of STCC support class Formula Renault Sweden alongside Volvo S60 Challenge on behalf of Volvo Sweden.
Cyan Racing moved to new facilities in Gothenburg which included engine development facilities, making the company independent on race car development. The move to Gothenburg also meant that Polestar took over parts of Volvo’s educational activities for car mechanics. The assignment included design, manufacturing and sale of training stations to schools with car mechanic courses. Alexander Storckenfeldt joined Robert Dahlgren in the STCC.
Cyan Racing developed a new bio-ethanol race engine for the STCC programme, becoming one of the world’s first race teams to compete with the environmentally friendly fuel. Robert Dahlgren and Alexander Storckenfeldt continued as drivers, with Dahlgren finishing second overall in the championship. The educational activities were expanded with the Volvo Training Car Program where Cyan Racing supplied Volvo cars to secondary schools for educational purposes. Cyan Racing also became a part of the Volvo Customer Service Concept to implement the “Lean Methods” at Volvo dealers around Sweden.
Cyan Racing was assigned to develop the new Volvo C30 model for racing ahead of the 2008 season, marking the company’s first complete engineering project. This saw the company grow by 30% overnight to take on the engineering project. Robert Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad were contracted as drivers for the debut STCC season with the C30, where Dahlgren ended the season in promising style by winning the two last races.
Cyan Racing broke several records in the 2009 STCC season with the Volvo C30. Robert Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad claimed all pole positions, a record still standing today, and claimed both the drivers’ and teams’ title. Rustad took the drivers’ title after a tough season of fighting with BMW driver and future Polestar driver Thed Björk. Another important step was taken with Polestar becoming the official Performance partner of Volvo, with the Polestar Performance Optimisation making its debut for regular Volvo road cars with turbo engines.
Robert Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad continued as drivers for the STCC campaign and secured the team title for the second year in succession. Dahlgren secured the drivers’ title of the inaugural Scandinavian Touring Car Cup that was held in conjunction with the Swedish Touring Car Championship. 2010 saw the first ever road car from Cyan Racing being constructed in the form of the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept. The car received an overwhelming welcoming from media all around the world, including Top Gear.
2011 saw Cyan Racing taking the step out internationally full-time by entering a redesigned Volvo C30 in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Part of the project was to develop a racing engine based on the next generation of Volvo engines, a race engine which proved to be one of the strongest in the championship. Robert Dahlgren scored Volvo’s first ever world championship points during the 2011 season. Tommy Rustad and James Thompson represented Cyan Racing in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, with Rustad finishing third overall and the team taking the runner’s up spot in the teams’ championship. The Polestar Performance Optimisation programme saw Polestar expanding to further markets around the world and launching an optimisation for the T6 model, making it the most powerful Volvo ever with 329 hp.
Cyan Racing entered four Volvo S60s in the newly formed 2012 TTA – Racing Elite League in Sweden with drivers Tommy Rustad, Robert Dahlgren, Fredrik Ekblom and Thed Björk. The final result was a record breaking Grand Slam with all three titles: Fredrik Ekblom as drivers’ champion, Volvo Polestar Racing as teams’ champions and Volvo as manufacturers’ champions. The month of September saw Polestar launching its second concept car, the 508 HP Volvo S60 Polestar Concept which received a strong media reception all over the world. The Polestar Performance Optimisation programme continued to grow to new markets like Australia, New Zeeland, Russia, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic and Mexico.
The main news for 2013 was the introduction of Polestar’s first production model in the form of the Volvo S60 Polestar. The car was launched in a limited edition of 100 cars to the Australian market as an evaluation for future expansion. The racing success for Cyan Racing continued in 2013 as Thed Björk secured a dominating STCC title with eight out of 12 victories. Robert Dahlgren claimed a strong third in the championship and the team claimed the teams’ title.
Another milestone was taken in 2014 with the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar being launched on eight markets around the world as Polestar’s first proper production model. 750 cars were produced in the Volvo Torslanda factory, making Polestar the first independent partner to be included in the production process. Thed Björk made it two out of two by claiming the STCC drivers’ title for the second year in succession, with team mate Fredrik Ekblom finishing third overall and the both securing the STCC teams’ title together. 2014 also saw Cyan Racing making its V8 Supercars debut in style. Driver Scott McLaughlin finished fifth overall with five victories, ten podium finishes and ten pole positions. Garry Rogers Motorsport, the Australian racing partner of Cyan Racing, built two new S60 race cars based on the V8 Supercars regulations with Cyan Racing building and developing the 650 hp Volvo V8 engine that turned out to be one of the most powerful of the championship.
This year marked another big step in the history of Cyan Racing as Volvo Cars bought the performance section of the company. Christian Dahl kept the racing section of the company, changing name from Polestar Racing to Cyan Racing. A close cooperation with Polestar is maintained with Cyan Racing becoming official motorsport partner to Polestar, the Volvo Cars performance brand.
Cyan Racing entered the 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship with Polestar, the performance brand of Volvo Cars, as start of a multi-year programme. Thed Björk claimed the maiden WTCC victory for Polestar Cyan Racing and Volvo Cars in the penultimate race of the year at Shanghai International Raceway. There was success on the racing circuits in Sweden as well with Richard Göransson securing a record-breaking fourth consecutive double Scandinavian Touring Car Championship title.
Cyan Racing became the first Swedish team to claim a World Title of racing and Thed Björk became the first ever Swedish driver to claim a World Title of racing as the team won both titles of the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship. Prince Carl Philip secured the runner-up spot of the Swedish GT endurance championship in Sweden.
Cyan Racing which previously represented Volvo Cars and Polestar in the FIA World Touring Car Championship and won both World Titles in 2017 joins Geely Group Motorsports as its official motorsport partner.