Chevrolet racer MacDowall relishing Marrakech debut
Carlisle racing driver Alex MacDowall is confident of surging back into the lead battle for the Yokohama Independents Trophy this coming weekend, 14th/15th April, during rounds five and six of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Marrakech street circuit in Morocco.
Very much a completely new adventure for the 21-year-old Chevrolet Cruze racer, the visit to Circuit Moulay El Hassan will be Alex’s first trip to North Africa and will also mark his debut race meeting at a street track.
Arriving in Marrakech fifth in the Independents Trophy points standings, having been joint-leader prior to an extremely tough visit to Valencia in Spain just over a week ago, the Bamboo Engineering driver is determined to be back in the hunt for his maiden class victory on the world stage.
“The weight of the ballast on our car really did hurt us in Valencia” reflected Alex, “It was a tough weekend, tougher than we expected, but at least we scored a couple of points which could be really important at the end of the season.
“After such a good start to my WTCC career at Monza, it was disappointing not to be further up the order in Valencia but we’re not dwelling on that – I’m looking forward to being back among the front runners in Marrakech and getting back on the Independents podium.”
Situated in the Agdal district of Marrakech, the 4.5-kilometre street circuit has hosted two previous WTCC race meetings but didn’t appear on the championship calendar last year. Featuring two long fast straights, which are broken-up by difficult chicanes, the Moroccan circuit should suit the Cruze and give Alex the opportunity to replicate the sort of performance he showed on his WTCC debut.
“It’s going to be another new challenge for me and I really am looking forward to it”, added the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star, “Realistically, Marrakech ought to be much more suited to our car and we should definitely be aiming to qualify well inside the top 12 to get into the second part of qualifying, like we did at Monza – that’s really important.
“From what I’ve seen of the Marrakech WTCC races in the past there’s always a lot of action, especially at the chicanes, so the races will be tough. I’m confident we’ll have a good car though and be able to challenge at the front in the Independents Trophy.”
Alex’s first running on the Marrakech street circuit will be on Friday, 13th April, at 14.30 (UK time) with one hour of testing. The opening free practice session will follow on Saturday, 14th April, at 10.30 with the second practice outing at 14.15 and qualifying at 17.15.
Rounds five and six will be contested on Sunday, 15th April, at 13.20 and 16.20 and will be broadcast live on British Eurosport – please check listings or www.fiawtcc.com for more information.
2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd4):
1st Yvan Muller, 88pts; 11th Alex MacDowall, 10pts
2012 FIA WTCC ‘Yokohama Independents Trophy’ Driver Standings (after Rd4):
1st Pepe Oriola, 31pts; 5th Alex MacDowall, 16pts