Supercars boss calls for Volvo extension

Volvo should ‘do the right thing’ and let Garry Rogers Motorsport continue to use its hardware for another season, according to Supercars boss James Warburton.

Supercars boss calls for Volvo extension
James Moffat and James Golding, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
James Moffat and James Golding, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin and David Wall, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin and David Wall, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, David Wall and James Moffat, James Golding, Garry Rogers Motorsport, Volvo S60
Scott McLaughlin and David Wall, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin and David Wall, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
KL City Grand Prix Chairman Y.A.M Tunku Naquiyuddin and V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton during the KL City Grand Prix, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
James Moffat, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
James Moffat, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo

Speaking to radio network SEN, Warburton said that he is disappointed that the relationship between Volvo and GRM has soured to the point that it has become a legal battle.

Warburton’s comments come a week after it was revealed that the team is preparing a legal challenge to the decision taken from Volvo and its partners Polestar and Cyan in Europe to recall the S60 chassis and engines at the end of the 2016 season.

It is understood that Rogers wants to be able to use the hardware for at least another season, so that the team has time to find a new manufacturer or partner. It’s a request that Warburton says is “not ridiculous”, the series CEO admitting that he’s voiced that opinion to Volvo reps in Australia.

“I think it’s disappointing for Garry, and it’s disappointing for the sport,” said Warburton to SEN’s On The Grid programme.

“If you look at how the fans embraced Volvo, Scotty Mclaughlin made Volvo pretty darned cool again at that first race in Adelaide.

“It is a shame to leave a team in the lurch. Ford took the view of a two-and-a-half year withdrawal if you like from Prodrive, in terms of stepping down the investment, and then getting out of the sport altogether.

“So I think it is disappointing, and I’ve said my piece to the local management here, and that is do the right thing, give him an extension, what he’s asking for is not ridiculous.

“It’d be good to see that happen, but at the end of the day global decisions are global decisions, and that’s very much where we sit in the Automotive landscape. One per cent of global automotive sales are here in Australia, and a lot of decisions made off-shore.”

Asian races set to be pushed to 2018

Warburton also confirmed that Kuala Lumpur won’t return to the calendar for 2017, and that the rumoured expansion into Indonesia and Thailand is also unlikely to happen next season, with 2018 now the target for the rounds in Asia.

“I don’t think there are any guarantees for 2017, but certainly ’18 and beyond,” said Warburton.

“KL was an extraordinary experience and it’s unfortunate that the shareholders have had a little bit of a legal dispute. We’re not going to take the chance of putting that on the calendar again, but we’ve got contracts in Thailand and Indonesia. Most likely [it will be] ’18 for both.

“It’s still an outside chance [for 2017], maybe, but ultimately the hold up with the calendar has been derived from a number of announcements we’ve made in the last week or so.”

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