MacDowall expects Cruze to spring a surprise at Thruxton
Carlisle motor racing star Alex MacDowall is cautiously confident of possibly his strongest weekend so far in the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship when the action resumes at Thruxton in Hampshire just over a week from now on Saturday, 30th April, and Sunday, 1st May.
Heading into the event ninth in the driver standings after three points scoring finishes during last weekend’s action-packed outing at Donington Park, the 20-year-old BRDC Superstar believes the fantastic balance and first class handling of his 2.0-litre Chevrolet Cruze will pay dividends.
Thruxton, renowned as a tyre-killer due to the high-speed nature of the 2.36-mile circuit, is certainly a unique challenge with its outrageously fast corners at Goodwood, Village and Church and the tight chicane at the end of the lap which always provides incredible overtaking action.
Alex, who scored points in all three races at the Hampshire track last year on his BTCC debut, with a best finish of sixth, is still expecting a very tough battle next weekend but he also feels his RML engineered Chevrolet will be much kinder to its Dunlop rubber than his rivals’ powerful turbo cars.
“Thruxton will definitely suit our car better than Donington”, said Alex, “Over a single lap though, the turbos will still have a big advantage. The Chevrolet Cruze is a great handling chassis and has a good balance in high speed corners which should really help on the fastest parts of the track.
“Obviously, Thruxton is also notorious for punctures – even with a normally aspirated car like the Chevy – so while we try and fine tune the car during free practice, the turbo cars will have to focus on race runs a bit more. My aim at the moment is to again be the top-scoring Chevrolet driver and the best scorer in a normally aspirated car, as I was at Donington last weekend.”
Following two free practice sessions at Thruxton on Saturday, 30th April, qualifying will take place at 15.15 and live footage from the session will be streamed online at www.itv.com/touringcars
Rounds seven, eight and nine will follow on Sunday, 1st May, at 11.30, 14.10 and 17.15 respectively with live coverage across the UK on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4, on the ITV4 HD channel and also online at www.itv.com/touringcars
Provisional 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Standings (after Rd6):
1st James Nash, 59pts; 9th Alex MacDowall, 19pts