Q&A with Polestar’s Robert Dahlgren

He’s back for the season finale

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By Emmanuel Touzot

25 November 2016 - 16:40
Q&A with Polestar’s Robert (...)

Robert Dahlgren makes his FIA World Touring Car Championship comeback during the season-closing WTCC DHL Race of Qatar on Friday night. The Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo driver talks night racing, his hopes of a full-time WTCC drive in 2017 and the lift team-mate Thed Björk’s victory last time out in China has given the Swedish squad.

How much night racing have you done?

“I have done some. I did some in Australia but it was more evening than dark and also in Scandinavia with the sun going down.”

Do you expect it to be difficult to adapt?

“Because I haven’t done it before I don’t know what to prepare for or how to prepare for it. I just approach it as any other race but it looks fantastic and I look forward to it.”

How pleased are you to be back racing in the WTCC?

“I am really happy. It feels great. I have been involved in the team all along. They gave me a shot at the Scandinavian Touring Car title and that’s why I missed out on two rounds. After that I have been testing, doing three days in southern Europe with Thed. All the time I felt involved in the project because I’ve been testing the car quite a bit. It’s fantastic to get the chance to race but not just that. I’ve been given the opportunity to test as well and I know how crucial it is and how important it is to get things right and to keep developing the car and to get more opportunity in the car.”

Are you treating the event as a shop window for a full-time WTCC drive next year?

“Qatar can be important for that because it’s what people will remember over the winter. It’s important for me but the team should know what I can do now after this many years. But it is an opportunity and I haven’t had that many shots. I had Portugal in a street race which was pretty difficult to jump in when I hadn’t been in the car for a long time. And then in Argentina I didn’t feel well with my stomach flu I had. I had two real nightmares but hopefully I can do well and deliver the results.”

How much of a lift did Thed’s win give the team?

“It was a brilliant result and great for the whole team. We did a three-day test before Japan and China and improved the car. it showed it was a work from the whole team, the engineers. We keep developing the car the whole time but we have really tough competitors who are really quick and we need to be quick in every condition and every kind of grip level as well. There is a lot of work to be done still but we’re getting closer at least.”

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