MACDOWALL SECURES TENTH PODIUM OF 2009 AT SILVERSTONE ELF Renault Clio Cup title contender Alex MacDowall recorded his 10th podium finish of the 2009 campaign at Silverstone National Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 29th August, to consolidate...
MACDOWALL SECURES TENTH PODIUM OF 2009 AT SILVERSTONE
ELF Renault Clio Cup title contender Alex MacDowall recorded his 10th podium finish of the 2009 campaign at Silverstone National Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 29th August, to consolidate his runner-up spot in the driver standings and remain in touch with series leader Philip Glew.
The Total Control Racing-run teenager, who started the 15th round of the season an uncharacteristic ninth on the grid after problems with his car's dampers in qualifying, battled through the order very impressively and finished the race just over a second shy of the race winner, Dave Newsham. In the process, he also produced the second fastest lap of 1m05.625 seconds on the final tour.
Underlining the pace of the TCR cars were team-mates Daniel Lloyd and Mike Robinson, both of whom were faced with difficult challenges for different reasons. While Lloyd qualified a very strong fifth on the grid -- a career best effort in Clio Cup -- Robinson had to start from 21st and last position when a puncture, mere minutes into the qualifying session, forced him to pull off the circuit.
Although making a good getaway at the beginning of this afternoon's race, Lloyd lost places on a robust opening lap after receiving a tap from behind and on the following tour he was pushed wide to lose yet more ground. Slipping to ninth position, he fought hard to come back through the order and took a top six finish while also posting the third fastest lap of 1m05.653 en route.
Bitterly disappointed to be starting at the back of the grid after his qualifying woes, Robinson proved beyond any doubt he could have been a podium contender by posting the fastest lap of all in the race -- 1m05.566 seconds -- and carving his way through to a well deserved 12th place finish.
For round 14 race winner Sam Tordoff, today's race ended abruptly on lap 16 when he was pitched into retirement after being hit by the car of Stephen Tyldsley at the exit of Luffield. Battling over 12th position at the time, Tordoff's enforced exit marks only his second non-score of the season.
"All four of our Clio drivers had good pace in the race, even though we did lack some performance in qualifying, and each of them did a solid job", commented TCR team principal Lee Brookes, "It was great to be on the podium again with Alex, he drove very well, and Daniel's top six was a very good result considering his troubles on the first couple of laps.
"Mike did a fantastic job to grab the fastest lap and it shows what he might have been able to do if he hadn't had the puncture in qualifying which forced him to start in last place. We're obviously very disappointed for Sam, the incident wasn't his fault he just got hit and that was it."
Breeze just misses out on Silverstone podium in G50 Cup TCR's Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup squad had a tricky time at Silverstone National Circuit today with both Carl Breeze and Fulvio Mussi struggling with engine-related power issues which ultimately cost both the chance of a potential podium result.
For title challenger Breeze, a strong run to fourth place was a good result all things considered while Mussi had to call on all of his defensive nous to keep a train of cars behind him for almost the entire duration of the 21st round. Better fortune went the way of the team's Danish driver, Joachim Ritter, who produced one of his best drives of the year to take a very competitive ninth place.
Breeze lined up fifth on the grid for this afternoon's G50 Cup encounter and although getting away from the line well, he found himself boxed in on the inside run to Copse behind Chris Dittmann and so lost a place to Tom Sharp.
It didn't take the TCR ace long though to get into the top four where he remained to the chequered flag, pressuring Dittmann for the podium throughout while at the same time defending his top four placing well from the attentions of Sharp.
Mussi made his Yourracingcar.com backed machine as wide as possible to hold on to seventh place with a terrific effort and in doing so he increased his points cushion in fourth place in the driver standings. Ritter, meanwhile, secured his 12th top 10 result with an impressive drive, gaining two places on his starting slot of 11th position and also moving into ninth in the championship.
"We're definitely lacking some straight-line speed with Carl and Fulvio, we think there's an engine issue with both of their cars so we need to get that looked into more deeply", said Brookes, "Taking that into consideration, Carl did a great job to take a fourth place away today and Fulvio defended fantastically to take seventh place after he received yet more contact -- he did very well.
"Joachim set some impressive lap times today, his ninth place was a good finish and especially with the fact we had a much bigger grid of cars this weekend. He's improving more and more and picking up his pace nicely. We're disappointed not to have been on the podium but the key thing is to get the power issue sorted for Carl and Fulvio so we can be back on top."
TCR has three races to look forward to tomorrow, Sunday, 30th August, with round 22 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup getting underway at 10.10 and round 16 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup following at around 12.00. The rescheduled 11th round of the Ginetta G50 Cup will take place at approximately 15.55. Please check listings for details of live television coverage on ITV4.
Provisional 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd15): Drivers: 2nd Alex MacDowall, 351pts; 7th Mike Robinson, 226pts; 8th Sam Tordoff, 186pts; 9th Daniel Lloyd, 175pts Teams: 2nd Total Control Racing, 667pts
Provisional 2009 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Standings (after Rd21 -- Rd11 rescheduled 30.08.09): Drivers: 2nd Carl Breeze, 516pts; 4th Fulvio Mussi, 354pts; 9th Joachim Ritter, 216pts Teams: 1st Total Control Racing