Hans – aka Hasse – and I worked together in our Parts group, around 1982. I forgot what he did, heck, I hardly remember what I did, but his young family was here for six months and lived close to us in NJ. Amazing how quickly time passes, he’s now a grandfather and gone from Parts to the lead person for “60 cars” as he calls them.
Every New Years, I would call him or he’d call me, just to chat and to wish each other a good New Year. Funny how traditions help keep us in touch with friends and family.
So I asked Hasse if he would do a short interview with me about what he does at VCC.
1. What kind of racing background to you have? Any pics of you, your team and car? Were you successful?
The racing I have been doing for the last 20 years is together with a team of Volvo colleagues, and it is on a pure hobby level. It is an endurance racing series, with the theme maximum racing for minimum cost. The races are 6 hours long and include beside driving also tactics for refueling and change of drivers. Each driver can drive max 1.5 hour at the same stint. Technically it’s open for 4 seat standard cars. Only normal aspirated engines with 2 liters volume and 4 valves per cylinder or 2.5 liters and 2 valves per cylinder. Maximum tire width is 205 R marked but no slicks. Chassis modifications are free.
The fastest cars are using a Volvo B230 engine stroked to 2.5 liters. Used in BMW 3 series, Porsche 944, Opel Ascona, and of course Volvo 140, 240 and occasionally also a 544.
We race a Volvo 240 with a “B250″ engine with two Weber 50 carburetors. Power output last year was 242 hp. Getrag close ratio gearbox, Brembo calipers and BMW M3 rotors. Chassis changed in all dimensions.
We normally finish top 5-6, and have never won the series but finished 2nd or 3rd, at best.
It is a hobby thing, a nice way to meet the guys (all Volvo colleagues). We meet one evening per week, roll up the sleeves and do some real hands-on car development.
Team mates are:
-Olle Odsell, Tech Project leader C70
-Kent Persson, Chassis development (also run his own rally team)
-Kenneth Ekström, Chassis development. Developed chassis for S60R , V70R and the new S60
-Ola Gruvesäter, Chassis dept
-Lars-Erik Lundin, Vice president. Was up to last year active in the team
-Hans Nilsson, Product manager S60, V60, XC60
-Kenneth Garthammar, Mechanics at Powertrain dept.
2. I know racing was probably a factor in doing S60/V70 R work, but is there some technology you wanted in your race car but was able to put into our R’s?
3. You mentioned how the 60 series is now your responsibility, does that mean all the technical advances (future engines/transmissions?) and exterior/interior is another person or are you the head of the whole line? If whole like what falls under your authority?
I was the project leader and product manager for the R-cars for 10 years. In 2006, I started as product manager for S60 and V60. The product manager is responsible for the content in the car and the balancing of the attributes. To make sure that the car is delivering all its attributes and fulfilling its (task) i.e. roll and position. So I’m involved in most of the technical stuff.
4. In a few words, what do you see the 60 series doing for Volvo?
Hasse is the guy leaning into their race car.
So don’t think for a moment that our man behind XC60, S60 and V60 (yes..I know “we should bring it here so don’t post any more comments – thanks) is just a guy leading a bunch of other folks with no idea about what makes a car special.
Today, I’m in an R-frame kind of mind.
danPosted in 60 Series, General, Volvo Racing | Comments Off