Robert Dahlgren hopes to earn 2017 seat on Volvo WTCC return
|By Jack Cozens||Wednesday, November 23rd 2016, 17:56 GMT|
Robert Dahlgren hopes he can use his return to the Volvo World Touring Car Championship team in Qatar to secure a full-time 2017 drive after a "nightmare" previous two outings.
Dahlgren has been part of a much-changed line-up in the manufacturer's second car this season
The Swede was initially overlooked for a 2016 seat, instead participating in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, but took over from Fredrik Ekblom as the team's second driver alongside Thed Bjork for the rounds in Portugal and Argentina.
He subsequently stepped back to focus on his STCC commitments - missing out on the title by 13 points to team-mate Richard Goransson - with Volvo first giving Argentinian Nestor Girolami a shot in the car, before Ekblom returned for the most recent round in China.
But Dahlgren was given the nod to contest the final round of the year in Qatar, which he sees as a big opportunity with Volvo set to a three-car operation next year.
"I want to have a seat next year full-time," he said.
"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 in the team.
"But it is an opportunity and I haven't had that many shots."
Dahlgren is yet to score a point in the WTCC this season, having recorded 13th and 16th places so far.
But the Swede took part in a three-day test before heading to Qatar, and said he felt far better prepared for his third outing of the campaign.
"I had the Portugal street race which was pretty difficult to jump into 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," Dahlgren said.
"I had two real nightmares so I'm doing everything I can to stay healthy and prepare. Hopefully I can do well and deliver the results.
"We should be running higher up - I know the car more now.
"After that I have been testing, doing most of that with Thed. We did testing two days ago in south Europe, three days in total.
"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 to keep developing the car."