MacDowall Determined To End BTCC Season With A Flourish
Carlisle racer Alex MacDowall is determined to deliver the strongest performance possible at Silverstone National Circuit this coming weekend, 15th/16th October, to enjoy a positive conclusion to his second season in the high profile Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The final three races of the year, rounds 28, 29 and 30, will be incredibly challenging for the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Superstar and his Silverline Chevrolet team due to the fact the short, 1.64-mile track will favour the power advantage of the turbo engined cars.
Alex’s normally aspirated 2.0-litre Chevrolet Cruze, which proved much more competitive at the technical Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit just over a week ago, will struggle to compete in a fair fight with the turbos but he’s going to try as hard as possible to extract every last bit of performance.
“Silverstone will be a struggle but I’ll be going into the weekend with a lot of determination to do as well as we can”, said the 20-year-old, “It is a power circuit, and the three long straights definitely favour the turbos, but if it’s wet then we’ll stand a much better chance. I don’t think we’re going to see hot temperatures like we did at Brands, which is a shame as that did help us a lot.
“I’ll start the weekend with a light car (no success ballast to run) so I will try and use that to my advantage in qualifying and race one. Jason (Plato – Silverline Chevrolet team-mate) is in the title hunt but hopefully there won’t be too many team orders that could affect me. It is mathematically possible for me to finish seventh in the championship, it’ll be tough but that’s what I’m aiming for.”
During the baking hot race meeting at Brands Hatch last weekend, Alex was able to secure his third podium result of 2011 with a terrific performance in the opening encounter. Running a very close second behind Plato, having moved up from third at the start with a good getaway, the Cumbrian unfortunately had to drop back a place on the final lap due to concerns over a potential puncture.
Even so, his return to the rostrum was richly deserved but the misfortune that has blighted his year raised its head once more in races two and three, an engine blow-up and gearbox woes leading to a brace of non-finishes.
Added to difficulties in free practice with an alternator failure and then a down-on-power engine in qualifying, which was changed by the RML mechanics ahead of the weekend’s first race, Alex had plenty of disappointment to contend with. He didn’t let his head drop though so, hopefully, the determination he’s shown all season will be rewarded with three points scores at Silverstone.
Following free practice on Saturday, 15th October, qualifying will take place at 15.10 and will be streamed live online at www.itv.com/touringcars. On Sunday, 16th October, round 28 is set to begin at 11.45, round 29 is scheduled to start at 14.35 and round 30 will follow at 17.15. As ever, the race action will be screened on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and online at the ITV website.