Teenager MacDowall highly confident for Silverstone
History making Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship racer Alex MacDowall is relishing the next three rounds of the season, which take place at Silverstone in Northamptonshire on 21st/22nd August, as he bids to convert his searing qualifying pace into a maiden touring car podium.
Entering the BTCC record books at Snetterton in Norfolk last Saturday as the youngest driver in the championship’s history to qualify on pole position, the 19-year-old from Carlisle had dire misfortune in all three races but aims to hit back strongly at the home of the British Grand Prix.
Alex has certainly raised more than a few eyebrows in his first six events as a BTCC driver as team-mate to Jason Plato in the crack Silverline Chevrolet squad, delivering consistently strong pace and only missing out on a string of top results due to bad luck.
He knows a debut podium finish is only a matter of time though and such is his confidence heading into Silverstone just over a week from now, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star is determined to challenge for a major points haul – and even a maiden BTCC race victory – at the venue’s all-action 1.6-mile National Circuit.
“I’m really confident ahead of Silverstone”, said Alex, “It’s a short track which mainly consists of long straights and the high speed right-hander at Copse which should suit the Chevrolet Cruze. I went well there in the Renault Clio Cup last year, taking a podium, so I’m looking to emulate my qualifying performance from Snetterton and come away with 15 to 20 points at least.”
With 15 points for a race win down to one point for 10th place, consistent finishing is a pre-requisite to be able to mount a sustained title challenge in the BTCC. Although the Cumbrian’s misfortune this year has meant he is currently in 14th position overall in the driver standings, a few trouble-free races over the next couple of events will almost certainly see him edge into the top 10.
Following the usual pair of practice sessions, qualifying at Silverstone will get underway at 14.55 on Saturday, 21st August. All three races will be staged on Sunday, 22nd August, at 11.45, 14.35 and 17.20 with each to be contested over 22 laps. Live television coverage on raceday will be screened, as ever, on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4.
2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship driver standings:
1st Jason Plato, 151pts; 14th Alex MacDowall, 36pts