Nash dominates in Portugal

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Bamboo Engineering leave Portugal with new trophies: One outright WTCC win plus two independent podiums.

The Bamboo WTCC team have had another storming weekend in the 2013 World Touring Car Championship, with an outright win and 2 independent podiums further adding to the trophy cabinet at their Silverstone HQ.

James Nash, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 T, Bamboo Engineering leads Alex MacDowall, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, bamboo-engineering
James Nash, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 T, Bamboo Engineering leads Alex MacDowall, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, bamboo-engineering

Photo by: XPB Images

The weekend seemed to start steadily for the Northamptonshire based team with Nash and MacDowall sitting at the bottom of the table for the first free practice session. But the strategy paid dividends as the pair showed continuous improvement allowing them to deliver their best times when it mattered, in qualifying.

Alex looked very strong at the wheel of the Chevrolet Cruze, setting some strong sectors until, avoiding an incident, he ran wide, picked up debris on his tyres which then caused him to glance the wall, but as unforgiving as street circuits are, all mistakes are punished dearly with Alex unceremoniously dumped out of the session and unable to set a proper time, placing him back down in 21st and the damage to his car would take until the early hours of the morning to repair.

James Nash set hearts racing in the garage when sitting in P10 with 4 minutes to go, but 3 cars passed the line to push him into 13th and out of Q2. As is becoming a trademark of the British driver, his last lap was a flyer and shot him into P8 and earning his place in Q2. The shorter Q2 session saw James pushing hard but on track incidents saw him qualify a disappointing 9th. Subsequently, Nash was pushed to P10 when a discrepancy in timing righted itself, however this put him in on pole for race 2.

Race 1 saw Nash starting in front of two of the rear wheel drive BMW's, renowned for their ability to get off the line, Coronel just edged up the inside of Nash causing him to drop to 12th. The narrow width of a street circuit makes overtaking very difficult, so it took the demise of Michelisz and Tarquinii to promote Nash to 10th. The closing laps saw Monteiro apply increasing amounts of pressure and give Nash a touring car tap, causing him to run wide and loose the place but most importantly finish the race unscathed, on the 3rd step of the independent podium but fresh for race 2. MacDowall had a fantastic start and by the end of the first lap had made it to 18th. Again the demise of the Honda's took him to 16th but MacDowall showed his determination to pass Barth on lap 9 and when Boardman hit the wall and Barth spun after avoiding a recovery truck on the course MacDowall was in P14 and stayed there throughout the safety car period and until he crossed the line.

Race 2 saw Nash start from Pole and MacDowall from 21st. Nash had a textbook race, he got a great start and took control from there, leading the race comfortably, setting the fastest independent lap and enjoying over a 5 second lead when he crossed the line to take his second WTCC victory and also independent p1, a near perfect race. MacDowall had another lightning start and jumped 2 places by the end of the first lap. In a somewhat processional race, it took Monje to retire and Barth to crash to hand MacDowall 17th.

James Nash, “it's been a great weekend in Porto, I really relaxed and enjoyed racing the Cruze, street circuits are always a challenge but it's great to take a race win and be back in 3rd in the overall driver championship.”

Alex MacDowall, “It's been a challenging weekend for me, a good qualification result is critical at a street circuit and my contact with the wall set the scene really for the weekend. It was my mistake that caused me to hit the wall but we’re all allowed an indiscretion every now and again, I want to thank the team who gave it everything to get the car ready, working until well past 3am, they went above and beyond. ”

Richard Coleman – Chief Executive – Bamboo Engineering, “Our second win of the season is a great way to round out the European leg of the season. Our ambition is for a top 3 finish this season and I'm pleased we’re back on target, all eyes are now on Argentina as it is another new track and a new challenge.”

Bamboo Engineering

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About this article
Series WTCC
Article type Race report
Tags bamboo, chevrolet, coleman, cruze, independent, macdowall, nash, podiums, portugal, proto, victory, world touring, wtcc

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