UK: TCR Brands Hatch race one report

CLIO STAR MACDOWALL WINS FOR TCR AT BRANDS HATCH GP ELF Renault Clio Cup front-runner Alex MacDowall secured the Vice-Champion's position in the 2009 driver standings in grand style at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit today, Saturday, 3rd...


ELF Renault Clio Cup front-runner Alex MacDowall secured the Vice-Champion's position in the 2009 driver standings in grand style at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit today, Saturday, 3rd October, with a faultless win during the penultimate round of the campaign.

Chalking up his fourth victory of the season for Wednesbury-based Total Control Racing, MacDowall made an outstanding start from third on the grid and after pressuring race leader Robert Gaffney over the first half of the opening lap, he pounced at Hawthorn after forcing his rival into a mistake.

Building a substantial three second lead by lap seven, the Carlisle teenager's advantage was negated shortly thereafter when the Safety Car was deployed due to Mark Hazell's Clio running into the gravel at Druids Hairpin.

At the re-start, MacDowall made no mistakes and soundly defeated 2009 Clio Cup Champion Philip Glew by two seconds in the end to take a richly deserved win and a very welcome return to the top step of the championship podium.

Team-mates Sam Tordoff, Mike Robinson and Daniel Lloyd had a mixed outing with Lloyd the worst affected -- a superb performance for three quarters of the race coming to nothing when pushed wide into the gravel at Druids on lap 11. Climbing through very well indeed from 12th on the grid into a position to battle over the top six, the outcome was bitterly disappointing for the category rookie.

Tordoff, who had been just ahead of Lloyd when he was pitched off the track, managed to secure a seventh place finish and heading into tomorrow's final round of the season the Snetterton race winner is just one point shy of the top seven in the driver standings.

For Robinson, qualifying difficulties put him on the back foot for this afternoon's race but he drove very well indeed to overcome a 19th place starting position -- due to the fact his involvement in qualifying lasted a mere two laps. Carving his way through the order well, the Surrey driver finished in a highly creditable 10th position.

Reflecting on TCR's day in the Clio Cup, team boss Lee Brookes said: "It's been a tremendous day for Alex, he produced a cracking drive after a blinding start and they just couldn't catch him. Philip (Glew) didn't have any pressure on him with the championship already wrapped up and he was pushing to the limit but he didn't have an answer for Alex -- he drove a perfect race.

"The other boys all have the pace, there's no question of that, but again they each had some bad luck. Daniel was very unlucky to end his race in the gravel after being taken off, he'd driven a very good race to that point and his pace was good. Sam's pace was strong too and he could have hoped for more realistically but he drove well, as did Mike who came through well from the back of the grid."

Mussi takes fourth G50 Cup podium of 2009

Fulvio Mussi produced two of his strongest performances of the season during rounds 26 and 27 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Brands Hatch today, the Colchester racer bagging his fourth podium of the season in the second encounter with a tremendous drive behind new champion Nathan Freke.

At the wheel of his Ginetta, Mussi's hopes of a podium in the opening race were ruined on the first lap when contact at Surtees, while battling over second place with Tom Sharp and Frank Wrathall, forced him wide and he eventually finished in fifth place.

In round 27 though, Mussi hit back with a superb drive from third on the grid. Posting his best lap of the race on the eighth tour, the TCR ace got himself into a position to attack Wrathall for second place and on lap 10 he made his move at Druids with a well timed pass.

Team-mates Carl Breeze and Joachim Ritter has less fortunate outings, the former taking a brace of seventh place finishes while Danish racer Ritter was unable to take part in the second race due to damage sustained to his car on the opening lap of round 26.

Commenting, Brookes added: "Fulvio had an excellent day. He drove really well and must have felt happy with the car as his pace was fantastic. He deserved to be back on the podium and did a terrific job, without the contact in race one it would most probably have been two podiums for him.

"The race one accident was gutting for Joachim, he'd made a very good start and had already gained a couple of places -- it was just bad luck. Carl hasn't been totally happy with things and he'll be disappointed to not have been in a position to fight for the podium. Hopefully he'll be able to end the season on a high tomorrow though -- we all know what a quality driver he is."

The final races of the 2009 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup and 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup will take place tomorrow, Sunday, 4th October, at 13.30 and 15.00 respectively. Both encounters will be screened live on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4.


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Series General
Drivers Carl Breeze , Philip Glew , Alex MacDowall , Sam Tordoff , Mark Hazell , Daniel Lloyd