It would be no surprise to see Volvo win races in the first year of its WTCC return, according to veteran touring car racer and 2016 driver Fredrik Ekblom.
Polestar Cyan Racing brings Volvo back to the championship this year, and despite a modest approach from the team, Ekblom expects the Swedish marque to fight at the front from the outset.
”I would be really disappointed if we are not in the top five during the season," said Ekblom, who will be partnered by Thed Bjork this season.
"I actually think we are going to be on the podium and I would not be surprised if we could win some races."
Ekblom, who has won the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship three times, is enthusiastic ahead of his return to the WTCC, having last raced in the championship in 2007 for BMW.
”This is huge, and not only because it’s the WTCC - the entire setup with racing in a team of people I’ve know for so long is incredibly motivating," he added.
"I would say my experience is going to be a great strength heading into so many unknowns in our first year with a new car, new tracks and so on."
The 45-year-old has got vast experience of the FIA Super 2000 regulations, but the current TC1 rueles are new to the Swede, who says the changes have made the cars more difficult to drive.
”The difference is actually greater than I thought," said Ekblom. "The new car is so much faster. It is more difficult to drive, more edgy.
"It takes more from you as a driver to be really fast and that is exciting."
Ekblom is in no doubt on his overall personal goal in the multi-year WTCC programme with Volvo and Polestar Cyan Racing: ”Of course, to win it all.
"It is something I spoke about with our team owner Christian Dahl the day he signed me in 2012."