MACDOWALL GRADUATES TO BTCC WITH CHEVROLET & RML Alex MacDowall completed his first official test as a Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship driver today, Tuesday, 23rd March, at Brands Hatch in Kent with an impressive debut performance at...
MACDOWALL GRADUATES TO BTCC WITH CHEVROLET & RML
Alex MacDowall completed his first official test as a Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship driver today, Tuesday, 23rd March, at Brands Hatch in Kent with an impressive debut performance at the wheel of his manufacturer-entered Chevrolet Cruze.
Confirmed on Monday as team-mate to Jason Plato for 2010 in the Ray Mallock Ltd run Silverline Chevrolet squad, the Carlisle-based 19-year-old undertook his first mileage as a fully fledged BTCC driver this morning at the Kent venue's 1.2-mile Indy Circuit as part of the championship Media Day.
Concluding the first of the day's sessions with the fourth fastest time of 49.109 seconds (87.86mph), just 0.288 seconds shy of Steven Kane's pace-setting best, Alex went on to almost match that effort during the rain-affected afternoon outing with a best lap of 49.171 seconds (87.75mph).
On combined times for the two sessions, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star was a highly creditable seventh fastest, just 0.447 seconds outside the best of the day posted by Silverline Chevrolet team-mate Plato, the 2001 BTCC Champion.
Alex, who will be the youngest driver on the grid in the high-profile BTCC this year, joins the RML family at an incredibly exciting time. Not only is the team receiving continued backing from headline sponsor Silverline Tools, it also has full manufacturer support from Chevrolet UK -- the first time the marque has ever fielded a 'works' team in the BTCC.
Speaking on his BTCC graduation, an elated Alex said: "I've wanted to be in the BTCC since I started my racing career five years ago, to now make my debut in the country's biggest championship with a team the quality of RML is a dream come true. It's a great honour and a privilege to be invited to drive for a manufacturer-backed team in my first season and I certainly aim to make the most of it.
"Obviously, touring cars are a big step-up from the Renault Clio I raced in last year but I'm going to approach this season the same as any other -- I'll try to qualify on the first two or three rows and then work as hard as possible to be a consistent front-runner. Having a team-mate as experienced and quick as Jason (Plato) will be very important for me and I hope to learn a lot from him."
The Cumbrian teenager added: "Testing has gone well so far, we haven't had a huge amount of time in the car but the miles we have done have been very positive. We're not reading into today's times too much as it's the first official test with all of the drivers and teams together and you never know exactly what everyone else is doing. We've made a good start though so I'm pleased."
Although only entering his sixth season of motorsport action this year, Alex has enjoyed a great deal of success so far and established a strong reputation as one of the UK's top young saloon car racers. In 2009 he had his best season to date, taking four race victories and eight other podiums en-route to the Vice-Champion's position in the BTCC-supporting ELF Renault Clio Cup.
Wellingborough-based RML is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in global touring car racing, the team also responsible for Chevrolet's FIA World Touring Car Championship project. Developing a superb reputation over the years, RML has enjoyed title success in the BTCC on two previous occasions, once with Vauxhall in 1995 and again with Nissan four years later.
There is now less than a fortnight to wait until the first three rounds of the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on 3rd/4th April. Live television coverage of all three races will be screened on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4.
-source: alex macdowall racing