British Touring Car rookie Alex MacDowall says it has been a steep learning curve after making the step up to the championships after a successful spell in the Michelin Renault Clio Cup.
Speaking to The Checkered Flag during testing at Snetterton, MacDowall said “There are a few things I need to learn, coming from the Clio's. The main issue is being able to look after the tyres.”
He stated he is happy with his qualifying pace but it is different during the race. Continuing, “I can be on it for four or five laps, then tyre wear starts to become a problem for me. Jason (Plato) can conserve his tyres a lot better than me thanks to his experience and this is something I need to be able to do.”
MacDowall also said he was has been a little bit frustrated after a few incidents have seen him shunted of the track. “There can be a lot of bumps and scrapes during racing, I need to be a bit more aggressive.”
Having set the fastest time in the first session of testing, and finishing the day quicker than team mate Jason Plato, MacDowall was pleased with the car and his performance. He told us “Nothing has really changed since Croft (The last round) We are just trying a few different set ups. I think the Car is suited around this circuit (Snetterton) and it has a good strong engine.”
MacDowall went on to say “It's quick on the straights and has a good aero package which is what we need. Although it is quick, we know the Ford's are quicker so we just need to keep at it and try and chase them down.”
The mid season break seems to have given MacDowall time to reflect “I have had a chance to gather my thoughts and analyse the season so far. Also, it's a chance to look towards the second half of the season, work out a plan of where we want to be and where we can improve”.
When asked if he had set any targets for the remainder of the season, MacDowall stated “At least 15 points per race weekend is what I'm hoping to achieve, and hopefully to get my first race win for the team”.
Sounding confident, the youngster has no reason not to be. With a strong car and the experienced RML team behind him, Alex MacDowall will no doubt continue to improve and become one of the championships top drivers in the future.