South American adventure next for WTCC star MacDowall
Yokohama Independents Trophy race winner and multiple podium finisher Alex MacDowall is busy preparing for the first long-distance fly-away event of his motorsport career next weekend, 21st/22nd July, when the FIA World Touring Car Championship makes its annual visit to Curitiba in Brazil.
With six weeks having already passed since the last WTCC event at Portimao in southern Portugal, the 21-year-old from Carlisle can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of his turbo-powered Chevrolet Cruze and try to add to the superb Independents Trophy victory he secured in Austria back in May.
With a total of four class podiums to his credit in his first season in the world championship, Alex has certainly proven his pace and ability thus far. However, fifth position in the Independents standings isn’t a fair reflection of his overall performance due to some unfortunate retirements along the way.
Curitiba is likely to be a circuit which plays to the strengths of the Briton’s Bamboo Engineering-run car, not dissimilar to the Salzburgring in Austria where he starred in both qualifying and race trim. So Alex is heading into rounds 15 and 16 of the WTCC season with his sights set high.
“I’d like to try and get another Independents win next weekend but my main aim in Brazil is to try and finish on the outright podium”, commented the Cumbrian, “With a good reverse grid slot for race two I think we could translate that into a top three finish overall.
“Obviously it’ll be tough, we’ll have to wait and see how it goes, and it is another brand new track for me. I’ve done a few hours on the sim though and I’ve got another session this weekend to try and prepare as well as possible. I think the track should suit us, the Chevy should be strong there.”
While the WTCC cars have already arrived in South America following a lengthy 13-day journey by sea across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe, Alex will be travelling out to Brazil early next week with a flight taking in four different airports!
“It’s going to be about a 17 hour journey over there – we’ve got to fly from Newcastle to Heathrow, then from Heathrow to Rio and then Rio to Curitiba”, he added, “Thankfully we’ve got a night flight so hopefully it shouldn’t be too bad…it’s definitely the longest journey to a race I’ll have ever had!”
Alex’s first experience of Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba will come next Friday, 20th July, at 18.00 (UK time) ahead of two further practice runs on Saturday, 21st July, which precede qualifying at 20.00 (UK time). On Sunday, 22nd July, round 15 is scheduled to start at 19.05 (UK time) with round 16 set to follow at 20.20 (UK time).
British Eurosport is scheduled to screen the race action live on digital satellite and cable platforms with the addition of live online streaming as part of the Eurosport Player service – for more details visit www.eurosportplayer.co.uk
2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd14):
1st Yvan Muller, 245pts; 13th Alex MacDowall, 28pts
2012 FIA WTCC ‘Yokohama Independents Trophy’ Driver Standings (after Rd14):
1st Pepe Oriola, 106pts; 5th Alex MacDowall, 50pts