MacDowall bidding for Indy Championship top three in China
Yokohama Independents Trophy race winner Alex MacDowall is aiming to continue his fantastic momentum at the weekend, 3rd/4th November, when the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship continues its late-season tour of the Far East with a visit to Shanghai International Circuit in China.
Claiming the second Independents victory of his debut WTCC season just over a week ago at Suzuka in Japan, Carlisle-based Alex edged ever closer to the coveted top three in the class driver standings and goes into the penultimate two rounds only six points behind the experienced Stefano D’Aste.
Despite his lack of knowledge of the WTCC tracks, and the fact it’s his first season of competition in the World Championship, the 21-year-old has been a revelation at the wheel of his turbo-powered Chevrolet Cruze.
At Suzuka the Sunday before last, Alex was within a fraction of the pace of the three ‘works’ Chevrolets – a point proven when he was fourth fastest overall in qualifying and just 0.3 seconds outside the outright pole position time.
With five visits to the Independents Trophy rostrum from the last four race meetings, eight podium finishes for the year in total, the Bamboo Engineering driver has hit a rich vein of form and is certain he can maintain that high level of performance on his maiden outing in Shanghai.
“We had a good weekend in Suzuka and I’m confident we can be as competitive again in China”, said Alex, “It’s another new track for me but the Chevy is the best chassis in the championship so I don’t think we should have anything to worry about – and the team is doing a great job.
“Realistically, winning the Independents title is out of reach with only four races left, but we’ve still got a chance of trying to finish second and that’s what I’m aiming for. Since the first win in Austria things have gone really well and we’ve had a good run, so I’m aiming to continue that and hoping to get two more podiums at the weekend.”
Shanghai International Circuit, situated in the Jiading district of China’s biggest city, will host WTCC testing on Friday, 2nd November, ahead of free practice and qualifying on Saturday, 3rd November. Round 21 will get underway at 06.50 (UK time) on Sunday, 4th November, with round 22 following at 08.05 (UK time).
2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd20):
1st Yvan Muller, 345pts; 9th Alex MacDowall, 66pts
2012 FIA WTCC ‘Yokohama Independents Trophy’ Driver Standings (after Rd20):
1st Norbert Michelisz, 136pts; 4th Alex MacDowall, 95pts