Some time ago Volvo probably had a meeting with their parent company Geely to discuss a return to racing. I assume it went something like this:
Volvo: Please Mr Geely, it may not be widely known but we do feel very comfortable on a racetrack. We want to go racing again, are we allowed to? Please?
Geely: Oh well sounds fun, but also dangerous. All right but be careful!
Volvo: Yay, thank you! Uhm, this could be quite expensive you know...
Geely (always having some change left, like a loving grandma): Here you have a few million Yuan, but take your little sister with you, I want to see her on the podium.
Volvo (thinking "wow, that was easy"): Sure grandma - I mean Mr Geely, Sir! - come on Lynk & Co, let's go start a racing team.
Geely: Wait a moment. Isn't that super complicated, who's gonna set up everything? I don't know how to do such a thing.
Volvo: No worries, we know some guys back in Sweden...
Cyan Racing was founded in 1996 to run the factory Volvo team in the inaugural Swedish Touring Car Championship season. Success was imminent as driver Jan ”Flash” Nilsson secured the STCC title behind the wheel of a Volvo 850 Super Touring.
2005 the new brand Polestar Cyan Racing was introduced and one year after that, they moved to Volvo's hometown, Gothenburg. Since then they also helped with engine development and even took over Volvo’s educational activities for young car mechanics.
Another important step was taken with the company becoming the official Performance Partner of Volvo, introducing the Polestar Performance Optimisation for Volvo road cars with turbo engines and ultimately with the introduction of Cyan Racing's first production models in the form of the Volvo S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar.
So Cyan Racing and Volvo always were very close, but when the FIA have shut down the WTCC racing series after the 2017 season (which Cyan Racing have won) Volvo pulled out and they switched to a Lotus Evora for this years WTCR - driven by Swedish Prince Carl Philip, who apparently is also a racing driver.
Geely and Volvo clearly want to make the Lynk & Co brand more commonly known. So what cars do they have that could be taken on a racetrack? There's the 01 - that's an SUV, nobody takes an SUV to the WTCR (yet). The 02 - well that's an SUV as well.
So, the Lynk & Co 03 then. And without further ado they've been on to make it the Lynk & Co 03 TCR!
Out goes every bit of unnecessary weight to make this thing as light as possible! Wait, there are the regulations...it says on page 10 the car has to have a minimum weight of 1265 kg (yes I've actually read the WTCR regulations), so let's make it exactly that! On goes a big wing and some crazy yellow dashes to contrast with the blue.
So what else do we need to win races with this? A more capable drivetrain!
-> Turbocharged 2-litre 4 cylinder engine with direct injection, making 350 hp and 420 Nm. Operated by a 6-speed sequential gearbox.
Uhm, but we may also have to brake hard in a racing situation. We need to get some massive brakes!
-> 380 mm ventilated discs with 6-piston calipers up front and 278 mm ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers to stop the rear wheels.
Fine, what else? A stiffer ride. No, the stiffest!
-> McPherson with adjustable dampers in the front, multi-link with adjustable dampers in the rear.
What the..., the regulations also say we need to have extra safety installments? But it's already a Volvo underneath, what could possibly be more..., aaah alright then. Get some strengthened FIA approved roll cage, race seats and a six-point HANS-compatible harnesses, also a complete fire extinguisher system and an FIA safety fuel cell.
Now, who's gonna drive it?
THED BJÖRK - The fast Swede
Besides his numerous other titles Thed is 2017 WTCC World Champion and 4 times STCC Champion.
YVAN MULLER - The experienced Frenchman
4 times WTCC champion and 6 times second, 11 times Andros Trophy champion, 2003 BTCC champion, and on and on and on.
ANDY PRIAULX - the British superstar
3 times WTCC champion, 2004 ETCC champion, 2005 winner of the 24 h on the Nurburgring, 3rd place overall in the 2017 WEC GT and several other wins and achievements across many different racing series. He has also been honored by the Queen for voluntary service. John Surtees called him an outstanding sportsman, Sir Stirling Moss thinks he's a great role model and Damon Hill claims he has made a place for himself in the annals of motorsport.
Any Questions? By now there couldn't possibly be any doubt left Cyan Racing will rock the next WTCR season!
The first test
Yvan and Thed have already been behind the wheel of the car during the first tests at Mantorp Park in Sweden and Estoril in Portugal and what's the first résumé? The Lynk & Co 03 TCR has been reliable and Thed has said it has lived up to his expectations.
Further tests will be completed throughout the winter by Geely Group Motorsport. of the 2019 FIA WTCR season start in April.
Okay the best way to win fans is to win races. But some merchandise surely helps! So L&C Cyan Racing have revealed the limited edition launch team wear.
The garments have been designed by key team members involved in the new motorsport programme: Cyan Racing designer Ola Granlund, C30 Concept designer Joel Alexandersson and photographer Patrik Johäll.
Well, that won't be an issue...
The new FIA WTCR season will start April 2019. Are you going to watch it?
Apr 7 – Marrakech, Morocco
Apr 28 – Hungaroring, Hungary
May 12 – Slovakiaring, Slovakia
May 19 – Zandvoort, The Netherlands
Jun 22 – Nurburgring, Germany
Jul 7 – Vila Real, Portugal
Sept 15 – Ningbo, China
Oct 27 – Suzuka, Japan
Nov 17 – Macau, China
TBA – Sepang, Malaysia
Sources: Cyan Racing
Note that any depictions made in this article of the hard work that goes actually into starting a racing team were of course strongly simplified.