As part of the BTCC’S 60th birthday celebrations, one of Silverstone’s stars was 1998 champion Rickard Rydell, racing his title-winning Volvo S40 and reunited with the now-iconic 850 Estate in which he made his series debut – plus the famous dog, the mascot that poked fun at Volvo’s choice of an estate as a racing car.
“It’s the same dog that we had on the roof back then,” says Rydell. “We only had it for a few races because they complained that we were making fun of it, but I think we changed the reputation of Volvo in the UK.”
After coming from singleseaters to the BTCC in ’94 and being told he was racing a wagon, he admits: “I was almost regretting it! But it was a great decision to race the estate for the first year to get the extra publicity.
“It doesn’t feel like 20 years ago. It took me a few laps and set-up changes to get used to the S40, but now I feel at home again. It’s just fun to be back in the car.”