MacDowall aiming to shine in Land of Rising Sun
Chevrolet Cruze driver Alex MacDowall is absolutely brimming with confidence ahead of the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s visit to Suzuka in Japan next weekend, 21st/22nd September, for the start of the final leg of the 2013 season.
After claiming his third Yokohama Independents Trophy victory of the year at Sonoma Raceway in the USA less than a week ago, the Briton can’t wait to be back behind the wheel and is relishing the championship’s return to the Far East where he was also a class winner during his debut campaign.
With a total of eight Independents podiums so far this year, as well as a brace of outright rostrum finishes, the 22-year-old from Carlisle goes into rounds 19 and 20 at Suzuka’s short 2.2-kilometre configuration aiming to make up vital ground on the top two in the Independents Trophy standings.
Third in the title race as the WTCC heads out to the Land of the Rising Sun, Alex believes the 10th race meeting of the season will provide one of his best opportunities this year to secure a podium double, at precisely the right time of the season too as the championship battle reaches a key stage.
“Suzuka should be good, we qualified fourth there last year only three tenths off pole so we know we should be quick”, said the Cumbrian, “I’m driving better than ever this year, I feel confident in my own ability and the Chevy is still the best car out there as an overall package.
“It’s a short lap at Suzuka and it’s the kind of track which suits my driving style, so that’s another big positive. It was great getting the Independents win last weekend in America, we need more of those to get back in the fight for the title and I’m confident we can.”
The final three race meetings of the WTCC season, beginning with next weekend’s action in Japan, all take place in the Far East and with the Macau finale in mid-November carrying double championship points, the Independents Trophy title is still very much up for grabs for the Bamboo Engineering ace.
Despite mid-season misfortune costing him dear, Alex is within 31 points of the class lead and knows he has the pace and ability to close down chief Independents rivals, and fellow Chevrolet drivers, Michel Nykjaer and James Nash over the last six races of the campaign.
Following a brief 30-minute test session at Suzuka on Friday, 20th September, competitors will also have the benefit of two free practice runs on Saturday, 21st September, ahead of qualifying at 15.30 (local time).
On Sunday, 22nd September, round 19 will get underway at 14.35 (local time) with round 20 set to begin at 15.35 (local time). Digital satellite and cable broadcaster British Eurosport will carry live television coverage of the Suzuka races next Sunday from 06.35 UK time.
Provisional 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd18):
11th Alex MacDowall, 86pts
Provisional 2013 FIA WTCC Yokohama Independents Trophy Driver Standings (after Rd18):
3rd Alex MacDowall, 103pts