Chevrolet star MacDowall satisfied with Silverstone test run
Carlisle racer Alex MacDowall enjoyed a trouble-free first outing at the wheel of his new Chevrolet Cruze during official Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship testing at Silverstone yesterday, Thursday, 24th March – the precursor to next weekend’s opening event of the 2011 season.
Declaring himself completely satisfied with his first taste of the car he will drive in his second year of action in the UK’s biggest and most popular motor racing championship, the 20-year-old ran in the top two for a large portion of the four hour test before ending the day seventh fastest overall.
Completing important work ahead of the first three rounds of the BTCC season, which take place at Brands Hatch on 2nd/3rd April, Alex ended the test within just 0.4 seconds of the outright pace with a best lap of 1m00.448 seconds (97.61mph) on the 1.64-mile National Circuit. This also placed him less than 0.1 seconds shy of Silverline Chevrolet team-mate, and reigning champion, Jason Plato.
“The new car already feels better than last year’s and there’s much more to come”, said the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Superstar, “We tried a lot of different set-ups at Silverstone to make the car suit my style a bit more.
“I was second quickest for most of the day and although we slipped to seventh in the end, I’m not at all worried. I’m really looking forward to the first round at Brands Hatch next weekend, I’m confident we should be able to start the season very strongly and I think we’ll have a very competitive package there.”
For the new season, Alex and team-mate Plato are driving updated versions of the Cruze which ran in the BTCC last year. The car is the same specification as that taken to the 2010 FIA World Touring Car Championship title by Frenchman Yvan Muller.
Having entered the record books during his rookie season last year as the youngest pole position qualifier in the history of the BTCC, and also becoming a multiple podium finisher, Alex is aiming to mount a sustained championship challenge in 2011. He will also continue to be the youngest driver in the BTCC again this year, having only turned 20-years-of-age in late January.
There is now only a week to wait for the first three rounds of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship which will take place on 2nd/3rd April at Brands Hatch in Kent. Free practice will get underway at 10.00 and 12.35 on Saturday, 2nd April, with qualifying set to follow at 15.40.
On raceday, Sunday, 3rd April, round one is scheduled to commence at 11.45, round two at 14.05 and round three at 17.05. Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4 will screen the action live with coverage also carried on the new ITV4 HD channel and online at www.itv.com/touringcars