Alex MacDowall - Photo Credit: bamboo engineering

MacDowall on track at Rockingham during the team's shakedown - Photo Credit: bamboo engineering

bamboo engineering are prepared for the World Touring Car Championship's opening round at Monza this weekend following a successful shakedown at Rockingham, though their chances at the Italian circuit could be 'weighed down' by having to run with more ballast than their rivals.

The team has an all-new driver lineup this year in the form of BTCC graduate Alex MacDowall and single-seater convert Pasquale di Sabatino. Both drivers had the chance to get behind the wheel of bamboo's new Chevrolet Cruze challengers at a shakedown at Rockingham.

“The shakedown went very well,” said team principal Richard Coleman. “We had a dry day so it meant we had the chance to get a lot of laps completed and do what we needed to do. Both of the drivers came away happy so it means we can head out to Monza knowing exactly where we are.”

As they are running the model that won the championship in dominant fashion last year, the bamboo cars must run more ballast than their Yokohama Trophy rivals during the opening two rounds.

“Unfortunately we have to start 40 kilos heavier than our rivals in the first two rounds because we are running a Chevrolet, and as the car which won last year's championship we have this maximum ballast imposed on us at the start,” explained Coleman.

“It is going to make things a little bit tricky. Monza is a challenging track, and this extra ballast will make it very tough on front tyre wear.

“But Alex and Pasquale are fired up and ready to go and we have a test before the racing weekend begins so hopefully we can use this to our advantage and iron out some of these issues before it really counts.”