Brands Hatch GP last chance for 2011 win says MacDowall
Alex MacDowall says next weekend’s three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit will mark the final chance this year for him to try and challenge for his maiden BTCC victory.
The penultimate event of the season, which will take place at the Kent track on 1st/2nd October, should be a very strong one for the Carlisle racer with the fast corners of the 2.43-mile Grand Prix configuration suiting his driving style and the superb chassis and handling of his Chevrolet Cruze.
Alex has gone particularly well at Brands Hatch in the past, taking his debut BTCC podium there last year and also winning on the GP track in the Renault Clio Cup support category in 2009, so he’s sure the circuit can provide his best touring car outing so far just over a week from now.
“I think Brands Hatch GP should be our best track yet”, said the Silverline Chevrolet driver, “The GP loop requires a very stable chassis which is good on high speed corners and that’s one of the Cruze’s strong points. I’ve gone well at the track previously too – I out-qualified Jason (Plato) last year and won there in Clio Cup, so it’s a place I enjoy and a track where I know we’re quick.
“I’ve got to have a high scoring weekend at Brands because Silverstone (venue of the BTCC season finale on 15th/16th October) will be the worst track for us. This is my last chance for a win this year and I don’t want to get left behind, I need to get that monkey off my back. I’m going to Brands Hatch aiming for pole position and at least one win.”
Alex’s second season in the UK’s most popular and action-packed motor racing championship has been character building to say the least with the Cumbrian having been on the receiving end of some robust contact on numerous occasions, costing him a serious amount of points.
Add in the performance disparity between the turbo engined majority and his normally aspirated Chevrolet Cruze and it’s clear to see why 2011 hasn’t quite gone as originally planned. Nonetheless, Alex is as quick as ever and has an outstanding team behind him at RML – so he doesn’t want to let any opportunities next weekend slip through his grasp.
“I feel like I’ve been robbed once already this season from a pole position and I don’t intend to let that happen again, I really feel like this could be our weekend”, he added, “I excel on high-speed corners and Brands Hatch GP is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar. There are no team orders either so I can go out there, do my own thing and focus on my driving.”
Two free practice sessions will kick-off the BTCC action at Brands Hatch on Saturday, 1st October, with qualifying getting underway at around 15.40. Rounds 25, 26 and 27 will take place on Sunday, 2nd October, at 11.30, 14.15 and 17.05 respectively and all three of the races will be screened live, as ever, on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4 and in High Definition on ITV4 HD.
There will also be live online streaming of qualifying and racing at www.itv.com/touringcars
Provisional 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Standings (after Rd24):
1st Matt Neal, 204pts; 10th Alex MacDowall, 74pts