Kiwi driver goes for Arctic adventure

Kiwi driver goes for Arctic adventure

Kiwi V8 Supercar ace Scott McLaughlin has had a strong start to the racing year with his new Volvo Polestar Racing, toping the podium in Melbourne – and has since headed to the top of the world to celebrate.

McLaughlin and team mate Robert Dahlgren flew to one of Volvo’s winter testing bases to drive a number of Polestar-engineered road cars.

Located in Jokkmokk, 10km above the polar circle, the test track is set on a frozen lake with a number of different testing scenarios designed to push Volvos to the limit.

“I know this place very well after years of winter testing Volvo and Polestar road cars here,” says Dahlgren. “So it was great to be able to bring Scott up here – it certainly makes a difference being 20 degrees below freezing compared with the heat of Adelaide and Melbourne.”

For Scott, the trip saw a number of firsts.

“I’ve never seen snow before and the coldest place I’ve been to before Jokkmokk is Tassie, so it’s certainly been an eye-opener!” he says.

“To be part of the road car winter test programme of a global brand like Volvo is awesome,” McLaughlin says. “I’ve never driven on studded tyres before, so it was interesting giving it some jandal out there and getting the hang of that while going sideways at 180km/h…”

Part of the programme included final sign-off of the ride characteristics of the next-generation Volvo S60 Polestar, while Dahlgren and McLaughlin also got a taste of a few secret Polestar prototypes currently undergoing development.

While in Jokkmokk, Dahlgren was keen to show McLaughlin some long-standing Swedish traditions like sauna-bathing and eating reindeer – and they also found time to fine-tune their handling skills with 100bhp snowmobiles capable of speeds up to 180km/h.

“The snowmobiling was mega,” says McLaughlin. “But the whole week has been awesome – I am just so pumped to get this experience.”

Following Jokkmokk, both drivers flew to Volvo’s global headquarters in Gothenburg to meet senior personnel including Derek Crabb, head of powertrains and motorsport director of Volvo Cars.

Crabb was who was quick to acknowledge the global recognition of the Volvo Polestar Racing entry into Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship.

“Scott’s results so far in the V8 Supercars Championship have been impressive, and we are looking forward to seeing more of the season, as well as Robert continuing to make progress up through the field,” says Crabb.

A quick trip to the factory floor to see S60s being built was followed by a tour of Polestar’s home base, where the drivers met race technicians and the engine builders of the V8 motor which powers both S60 V8 Supercars.

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