Chevrolet racer MacDowall tasked with latest test of 2011 Cruze
Cumbrian touring car racer Alex MacDowall made an enjoyable return to action at Snetterton in Norfolk this week after being tasked by Chevrolet to test the 2011 specification Cruze which will be campaigned in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Due to Chevrolet’s WTCC drivers Yvan Muller, Alain Menu and Robert Huff all having prior commitments with the manufacturer elsewhere in the world, 19-year-old Alex was drafted in to get behind the wheel of the 1.6 turbo engined car for the run on Thursday, 21st October.
Making the most of the fantastic opportunity to sample Chevrolet’s new WTCC challenger the Carlisle driver, who seriously impressed during his maiden season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this year with the RML run Silverline Chevrolet squad, declared himself highly privileged to be entrusted with the test programme.
“First of all I’d like to thank Chevrolet for giving me this great opportunity to test the new Cruze, it’s been a real privilege to drive the car and an absolute pleasure as well”, said Alex, “I had a great time, the new Cruze is a fantastic car with great handling and the new global race engine feels strong.”
During his debut season in the BTCC this year, as team-mate to eventual champion Jason Plato, Alex produced some truly outstanding performances and made the headlines on several occasions. None more so than when he became the youngest driver in the category’s long history to qualify on pole position – achieved at Snetterton – before going on to break the qualifying lap record at Knockhill.
The goal for 2011 is to return to the BTCC and put into practice everything he learned during his debut season with Chevrolet and Wellingborough-based RML. If he is able to secure a deal to remain in the UK’s biggest motor racing championship, Alex will be gunning for regular podium finishes.
“I want to be back in the BTCC next year”, he added, “With a season’s experience behind me I’m confident we could be podium regulars. It was fantastic working with such experienced people this year for my first season in touring cars and to have a great team-mate like Jason to learn from.
“We definitely deserve to be in the BTCC, I think I proved this year I’ve got the speed and racecraft to compete at the front. I’d have liked to finish on the podium a few more times but overall it was a great season and gives us a brilliant platform to build on if we can secure a deal to be back in 2011.”