Determined MacDowall aims to take fight to turbos at Rockingham
Following on from a very trying visit to Knockhill in Scotland last time out, Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship star Alex MacDowall is more determined than ever to get back on the podium when the series visits Rockingham this coming weekend, 17th/18th September.
Having headed north of the border with a very positive mindset, the Carlisle racer had high hopes of a successful weekend but it soon became clear the normally aspirated cars – of which his Chevrolet Cruze is one – wouldn’t be able to compete on a level footing with the turbo-powered majority.
With the addition of some robust contact in two of the three outings, the seventh event of the year ended up being one to forget for the 20-year-old. Even though he fully expects the turbos to again have an advantage at Rockingham, Alex says the Silverline Chevrolets shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.
“I think Rockingham should be better for us than Knockhill was”, he commented, “Qualifying will be crucial once again because there are very few areas to overtake. The Cruze is a great car over the race distance and Rockingham is very tough on tyres so I’m hoping we can have a good weekend.
“The infield section is very tight and twisty, which should favour our car, but the long straight linking turn four of the oval round to the first hairpin will give a big advantage to the turbos. Rockingham is very flat though so hopefully they won’t be able to use their horsepower advantage quite so much. I am more eager than ever for good results after a bad weekend at Knockhill – don’t rule us out yet!”
The main story of the BTCC in 2011 has been the ongoing battle to level the playing field between the normally aspirated S2000 cars, the turbo-powered S2000 cars and the rapidly developing NGTC ‘New Generation Touring Cars’ which also run turbo engines.
Despite having the odds stacked against him over the course of the season, Alex has still managed to race his way onto the podium on two occasions and his target of striving for a top six championship finish remains – although that will be a very tall order now with only three events remaining.
Whatever happens at Rockingham at the weekend the Cumbrian charger will undoubtedly be giving maximum commitment, as he always does, in his bid to secure three consistently strong results and a major haul of points.
Two free practice sessions for the BTCC competitors will take place at Rockingham on Saturday, 17th September, followed by qualifying at 15.00 – the action from which will be streamed live online at www.itv.com/touringcars
On Sunday, 18th September, round 22 of the season will get underway at 11.30, round 23 will follow at 14.00 and round 24 is scheduled to commence at 16.50. All three encounters will be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4 and in High Definition on ITV4 HD. In addition, the ITV website will carry live streaming.
Provisional 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Standings (after Rd21):
1st Gordon Shedden, 182pts; 9th Alex MacDowall, 74pts