All or nothing for MacDowall in Macau grand finale
Circuito da Guia in Macau, one of the most formidable challenges in motorsport, will host the final two rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the weekend, 16th/17th November, where Alex MacDowall is aiming to go all-out for a winning conclusion to his second season at global level.
Carlisle-based Alex heads into the WTCC grand finale in the former Portuguese enclave third in the Yokohama Independents Trophy standings and although facing a near impossible task in trying to win the class title, mathematically it can still be done.
So far in 2013 the Chevrolet Cruze driver has amassed a total of 10 Independents Trophy podiums, including four class victories, and he has also climbed the overall WTCC podium on three occasions with excellent race performances.
Despite some misfortune along the way, which has hindered his championship-winning potential and means Alex goes into the finale 41 points adrift of the Independents lead, the 22-year-old will arrive in Macau with confidence high and his sights set on ending 2013 in winning ways.
The tight and unforgiving street circuit, a true crown jewel on the annual WTCC calendar, never fails to provide spectacular action and the level of commitment and courage required to deliver the best lap times cannot be underestimated.
“We’ve got to absolutely go for it in Macau”, said Alex, “Bravery rewards a driver around there, you have to really go for it, have maximum commitment and not be scared of crashing as the quickest line is when you brush the barriers on each side of the track. It’s a fantastic circuit – you really have to drive it on the edge to find the most time.”
During the corresponding event last year, his first ever visit to Macau, Alex was on the pace straight away and after finishing fourth in class during the opening encounter the Bamboo Engineering driver was on for a potential outright podium in race two.
However, contact from multiple WTCC champion Yvan Muller, as a result of a misjudgment by the Frenchman at the ultra-fast Mandarin Bend on lap four, sent Alex into the barriers with a very heavy impact. Although worrying at the time, the incident is a distant memory for the Cumbrian and he is now only thinking of one thing – challenging for victory.
“Other than the accident we went well at Macau last year and I’m confident we can be strong again at the weekend”, he added, “I’m pretty optimistic I can fight for the Independents wins and try and end the season on a real high. I can still steal the title away from James [Nash], but he’s got a big lead so we just need to focus on doing the best we can and then see what happens.”
Following testing in Macau this coming Thursday, 14th November, free practice and qualifying will take place on Friday, 15th November. After a day’s rest, the WTCC racers will be back in action on Sunday, 17th November, with round 23 set to start at 11.05 (local time) and round 24 scheduled to begin at 12.20 (local time).
Live television coverage of the WTCC finale will be screened on the British Eurosport network across the UK with race one beginning at 03.05 UK time and race two following at 04.20 UK time – check listings for full details.
Provisional 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings (after Rd22):
11th Alex MacDowall, 121pts
Provisional 2013 FIA WTCC Yokohama Independents Trophy Driver Standings (after Rd22):
3rd Alex MacDowall, 130pts