MacDowall determined to close unfinished business at Oulton
Silverline Chevrolet’s Alex MacDowall aims to close some “unfinished business” at Oulton Park in Cheshire next weekend, 4th/5th June, when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship makes its annual visit to the north-west of England.
Carlisle-based Alex, who is currently eighth in the driver standings ahead of the first of two ‘home’ events for him on the 2011 calendar, came extremely close to achieving his maiden BTCC victory during the corresponding race meeting last year.
Starting the third of the weekend’s races from pole position, a driveshaft failure while leading robbed him of a potential victory – something he aims to rectify next weekend at the picturesque 2.2-mile parkland track.
That said, the 20-year-old British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Superstar knows the task will be even harder this year with the well-documented performance advantage held so far by the turbo-charged Hondas, Fords and Vauxhalls in comparison to his normally-aspirated 2.0-litre Chevrolet Cruze.
He commented: “I feel like I have unfinished business with Oulton Park, I was robbed of a win last year due to the broken driveshaft. I think in qualifying we will be closer to the turbo cars than we have been so far this year but they will still be hard to beat.
“I should have qualified on pole at Oulton last year by 0.4 seconds so if I can produce a lap time like that again, I think I have a good chance of being on the front row. The Chevrolet Cruze is the best overall package on the grid and Oulton is the most demanding track on the calendar. My aim for the weekend is to try and end up seventh in the championship – we’ll be pushing as hard as ever.”
Having scored in seven of the nine races contested so far this season, the hugely talented Cumbrian has been a consistent front-runner but he’s hungry for a return to the podium. The closest Alex has been so far was during round six at Donington Park in mid-April when he finished fourth. Despite starting on pole position, the speed advantage of the turbos was simply too much to overcome.
Free practice at Oulton Park is scheduled to take place at 09.30 and 12.45 on Saturday, 4th June, with qualifying – coverage of which will be streamed live online at www.itv.com/touringcars - set to follow at 15.15. Round 10 will be the opening race of the day on Sunday, 5th June, at 12.15 with round 11 expected to start at 14.30 and round 12 set to begin at 17.10.
As ever, live coverage of all three BTCC encounters will be screened on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4, on the ITV4 HD channel and also streamed online at www.itv.com/touringcars
Provisional 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Standings (after Rd9):
1st Matt Neal, 90pts; 8th Alex MacDowall, 28pts