MACDOWALL TAKES ROUND 12 POLE AT SILVERSTONE GP CIRCUIT Total Control Racing's Alex MacDowall secured his sixth pole position start of the 2009 season at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit earlier today, Saturday, 4th July, during qualifying for the...
MACDOWALL TAKES ROUND 12 POLE AT SILVERSTONE GP CIRCUIT
Total Control Racing's Alex MacDowall secured his sixth pole position start of the 2009 season at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit earlier today, Saturday, 4th July, during qualifying for the 11th and 12th rounds of the ELF Renault Clio Cup.
By far the biggest event of the year with well over 100,000 spectators expected to file through the gates of the Northamptonshire venue over the weekend, today's half hour qualifying session took place in very warm conditions with 18-year-old MacDowall emerging as TCR's best-placed driver.
Heading into Sunday's pair of races hoping to close the 34-point gap in the championship to series leader Philip Glew, MacDowall lapped with a best time of 2m09.485 seconds (142.9km/h) to grab second on the grid for round 11. His second best lap of 2m09.512 seconds, however, gave him pole position for round 12.
Team-mate Mike Robinson will start the first of the weekend's races from eighth on the grid thanks to a time of 2m09.926 seconds (142.4km/h) while for race two , the 26-year-old will be in an improved seventh place after posting a second best effort of 2m09.998 seconds.
Car racing rookie Sam Tordoff lapped the 3.2-mile track with a best time of 2m10.122 seconds (142.2km/h) which means he will start Sunday morning's opening encounter from 11th position while for the second race, the 20-year-old will line-up ninth with a lap of 2m10.126 seconds.
TCR's youngest competitor, 17-year-old Daniel Lloyd, was an uncharacteristic 18th fastest with a best time of 2m10.612 seconds (141.7mph) after suffering quite badly with traffic. His consistency, however, allowed him to leap six places up the starting order for round 12 with a lap of 2m10.634 seconds securing a row six grid slot in 12th position.
With competitors racing the freshly revised Clio Cup race car -- which features a new front end and front suspension among several upgrades to bring it in line with the its road-going Clio Renaultsport 200 cousin -- for the first time this weekend, Lee Brookes' Wednesbury-based squad has proven to be on top of the changes thus far and the team is in good shape ahead of tomorrow's action.
"It's been a good day and we're obviously very happy Alex managed to achieve two front row starts with pole for the second race", said Brookes, "We're disappointed for Daniel as he was blocked on his best laps so there wasn't a lot he could do about that. He was right up there early on but both of our rookies, Daniel and Sam, could have done with a bit more test time really with the new car.
"Friday's practice session was ruined because of red flags and even though we ran at Snetterton the other week, the two tracks are completely different. We are very happy with how we've got to grips with the changes to the cars though -- we're still right up there. Sam and Mike did have some issues with traffic but they didn't do too badly. All in all, it's been a good start to the weekend."
Rounds 11 and 12 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup will take place at Silverstone GP Circuit tomorrow, Sunday, 5th July, at 09.50 and 15.45 respectively.
Provisional 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd10): Drivers: 2nd Alex MacDowall, 267pts; 5th Mike Robinson, 169pts; 9th Daniel Lloyd, 111pts; 10th Sam Tordoff, 97pts Team: 2nd Total Control Racing, 450pts