TOURING CAR ASPIRANT MACDOWALL IMPRESSES DURING RML CHEVROLET TEST
Alex MacDowall sampled British Touring Car Championship machinery for the second time in as many months this past week after joining legendary squad RML for a two-day test outing at Jerez, Spain, at the wheel of Jason Plato's race winning Super-2000 specification Chevrolet Lacetti.
Having tested a rear-wheel drive Motorbase BMW 320si E90 at Brands Hatch four weeks ago, his debut outing in a BTCC car, the Cumbrian teenager returned to the more familiar territory of front-wheel drive with Ray Mallock's team on Thursday, 17th December, and Friday, 18th December.
During the opening day, which was mainly dry, Alex won praise from RML's World Touring Car Championship regular -- and double BTCC Champion -- Alain Menu after lapping within just four 10ths of a second of the Swiss racer's benchmark time.
Menu, at the wheel of his WTCC Chevrolet Cruze, posted a best lap of 1m54.2 seconds around the 4.4km Jerez track while Alex lapped with a highly impressive time of 1m54.6 seconds in his BTCC Lacetti. Wet weather arrived for day two which enabled touring car aspirant Alex to gain vital experience of a full range of set-ups as the track changed from wet to dry several times.
"Driving the Chevrolet Lacetti was great fun", said the Carlisle based racer, "I thoroughly enjoyed our two days at Jerez and working with everyone at RML was an absolute pleasure. Ray Mallock runs an outstanding team, there's such a wealth of experience to tap into, and to receive compliments from a driver as talented and successful as Alain Menu was very special.
"The car itself is very quick in a straight line, handles well through the corners and gives you a lot of confidence to push hard. Having now tested a rear-wheel drive BMW and the front-wheel drive Lacetti, we have plenty of food for thought for next year."
Alex added: "In the meantime we're continuing to work as hard as possible to try and attract more sponsors to our 2010 BTCC bid. I can't thank RML enough for this fantastic opportunity to test with the team and I sincerely hope a deal can be done that will allow me to drive for them in 2010."
Debuting in the T-Car Championship in 2005, Alex quickly became one of the most promising young saloon car racers in the country. Stepping-up to the high-profile ELF Renault Clio Cup in 2007, he went on to finish third overall in that year's Winter Cup before becoming a consistent front-runner in the following year's main championship.
Achieving British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star status this year, Alex capped off his most impressive season to date by concluding the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup campaign as Vice-Champion with four race victories to his credit and eight other podium finishes. Now, off the back of two very successful BTCC tests, the world of touring car racing beckons for the talented teenager.
Additional commercial partners are being sought to help support Alex's bid to graduate to the BTCC next year so for more information and contact details please visit www.alexmacdowallracing.co.uk