BTCC star MacDowall aiming for home glory at Croft
Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire plays host to the latest three rounds of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship next weekend, 18th/19th June, where ‘local’ driver Alex MacDowall will be aiming to build on the fantastic podium finish he achieved last time out at Oulton Park.
The Carlisle racer, who drives for the prestigious RML-run Silverline Chevrolet team, always views the annual visit to Croft-on-Tees as his true home event and he has enjoyed good success there in recent years – particularly in the Renault Clio Cup in 2009 where he took a win and second place.
Achieving his long-awaited first podium of the season during round 10 last Sunday, driving brilliantly from seventh on the grid into a top three finish, the 20-year-old has his sights set higher for rounds 13, 14 and 15.
With just nine points separating Alex from seventh place in the BTCC standings, he hopes to make up that ground during Croft’s three encounters. As ever the challenge will be tough but as he proves week-in, week-out, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Superstar is a true contender in the BTCC.
“I think qualifying will be crucial again and Croft is very hard on tyres which could play into our hands”, said the Cumbrian racer, “I qualified well last year but struggled with lots of understeer and poor braking so my main aim for the weekend is to work on a good set-up.”
Throughout the season so far there has been just as much going on off-track as there has on-track in the UK’s most popular motor racing series. Much of the debate has surrounded the performance differential between the normally-aspirated 2.0-litre cars, such as Alex’s Chevrolet Cruze, and the more powerful turbo powered competition which forms the bulk of the grid this year.
He added: “Croft is a very fast track which will favour the turbo cars but there are two very technical parts which will favour the Chevrolet Cruze – so I think it will be very close. I am currently nine points off seventh place in the championship so to move up the standings will definitely be one of my goals for the weekend, along with some more podiums and hopefully my first win!”
Croft’s free practice sessions for the touring cars take place at 09.30 and 12.00 on Saturday, 18th June, with qualifying for the weekend’s three races following at 15.05. On Sunday, 19th June, round 13 will get underway at 12.10, round 14 will commence at 14.40 and round 15 will close the day’s action at 17.20.
As ever, all of the race action will be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4 with High Definition coverage on the ITV4 HD channel. There will also be online streaming of Saturday’s qualifying session and all three of Sunday’s races at www.itv.com/touringcars
Provisional 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Standings (after Rd12):
1st Matt Neal, 103pts; 8th Alex MacDowall, 44pts