Overall podium MacDowall's aim on first visit to Argentina
Yokohama Independents Trophy title contender Alex MacDowall is targeting nothing less than outright podium finishes when the FIA World Touring Car Championship visits the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina next weekend, 3rd/4th August, for rounds 15 and 16 of the season.
Determined to turn his fortunes around after two majorly challenging events in Russia and Portugal, the Chevrolet Cruze racer is hungrier than ever to make a return to the overall top three as he strives to get his respective championship bids back on track.
Next weekend’s action will mark the first ever at the South American venue for the WTCC, meaning everyone will arrive on a level playing field. With that in mind, Carlisle-based Alex is fully focused on hitting the ground running and finding a strong set-up for his Bamboo Engineering car from the off.
“I think it will suit our car, we’ve been on the simulator already and it seems to have some good fast, flowing corners which should play into our hands”, he commented, “It’s quite a short lap and not too technical, I really think it should be good for us.
“We need to maximise the track time we’ll have and get in as many laps as possible so we can try a few different things with the set-up. Being a new track on the calendar, you’ve got to dial yourself in as quickly as possible. I’m pretty good at doing that so I’m looking forward to it.”
Ahead of the journey to the southern hemisphere, the 22-year-old is third in the Independents Trophy standings with a total of seven class podiums to his credit, including a pair of well-deserved Independents victories.
In the overall WTCC title race, the second year competitor has managed to retain a top 10 placing despite horrendous luck last time out on the streets of Porto in Portugal – a frustrating event during which an uncharacteristic accident in qualifying set the scene for two very tough races.
With only four race meetings remaining after the Argentinian adventure, the need to consistently rack-up big points is clear. Alex, therefore, has every intention of adding to the two overall podiums he has achieved already in 2013 and is also set on mounting a bid for his first outright WTCC win.
“All of the events now are long-haul, somewhere like Argentina is a long way to go if you end up coming away with a couple of bad results”, he added, “I’m aiming for the overall top three for next weekend, if we’re going to stand a chance of winning a championship this year we have to get on the overall podium. I want that first win – as soon as we get the first one, I know more will follow.”
Following a brief half-hour test session on Friday, 2nd August, the WTCC competitors will then benefit from the usual pair of free practice runs on Saturday, 3rd August, ahead of qualifying at 15.45 local time (18.45 UK time).
On Sunday, 4th August, round 15 is scheduled to commence at 14.20 local time (17.20 UK time) with round 16 set to follow at 16.20 local time (19.20 UK time). Both encounters will be screened live on the British Eurosport network – check listings for more details.
Provisional 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd14):
10th Alex MacDowall, 73pts
Provisional 2013 FIA WTCC Yokohama Independents Trophy Driver Standings (after Rd14):
3rd Alex MacDowall, 78pts