Macau’s world famous street track, Circuito da Guia, will host the season finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship next weekend, 17th/18th November, where Britain’s Alex MacDowall aims to round-out his rookie year back on the top step of the Yokohama Independents Trophy podium.
After a highly successful maiden season in the WTCC with Bamboo Engineering, the Chevrolet Cruze driver goes into the last two rounds of the 2012 campaign fourth in the Independents Trophy title race having achieved two class victories and eight podiums in total so far.
Although expectedly rapid pace at Shanghai International Circuit in China last weekend couldn’t be converted into podium results, due to Alex being caught-up in contact in each race, the second half of 2012 has seen the Cumbrian develop into a true force to be reckoned with in the WTCC.
While the rich tapestry of the calendar delivers a wide variety of circuits and challenges, none of those are quite like the unique demands of the Macau streets which require immense concentration and focus, coupled with maximum commitment and razor-sharp reactions.
“I’m really looking forward to Macau, it’ll be great to race there for the first time and hopefully we can end the season on a real high”, said Alex, “I definitely want to try for another Independents win and we’ve got double points on offer so anything can happen really with the championship.
“We’ve got quite a bit of ground to make up on the top three but it’s definitely possible. You’ve got to finish both races and not get involved in any trouble at a street track like Macau, but it’s all going to be about qualifying.”
He added: “If qualifying doesn’t go so well then it’s going to make the races very tough. Overtaking on a street circuit is always risky at the best of times, it’s so easy to get caught-up, so you have to get qualifying right and start as high up the grid as possible.”
The WTCC’s annual visit to the former Portuguese enclave forms part of one of the globe’s biggest motorsport events which also features six other categories, including the 59th Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and the 46th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Official testing for the WTCC will take place on Thursday, 15th November, with two free practice sessions and qualifying following on Friday, 16th November.
No touring car action will take place on Saturday, 17th November, so rounds 23 and 24 will be contested on Sunday, 18th November, at 11.05 local time (03.05 GMT) and 12.20 (04.20 GMT) and will be broadcast live on the Eurosport network.
2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd22): 1st Rob Huff, 390pts; 11th Alex MacDowall, 66pts
2012 FIA WTCC ‘Yokohama Independents Trophy’ Driver Standings (after Rd22): 1st Norbert Michelisz, 138pts; 4th Alex MacDowall, 95pts