Alex MacDowall feels that this weekend's World Touring Car Championship races at the Hungaroring will be kinder to him after a difficult round at the Slovakiaring.
The 21-year-old from Carlisle suffered from understeer in both practice and qualifying at the new venue, leaving him 16th on the grid. The morning warmup session allowed him to improve the setup of his Bamboo Engineering-fettled Chevrolet Cruze, and as such he managed to make progress in the first race and cross the line in 12th.
His race two however came to an early end with contact on lap three.
“I went up the inside of a BMW at turn seven and we were side-by-side for the next corner but another BMW must have locked-up on the other side of me as the next thing I knew, I'd been hit and it bent the steering,” explained the TCF blogger.
“It was far too optimistic, I'm not cross-eyed so I can't see cars coming from two different directions at the same time!
“It's disappointing as the car felt a lot better in the races then it did all weekend up to that point, we had new tyres as we didn't get through to Q2 so that helped as well. The team found a better set-up though overnight after qualifying so, following the warm-up, I felt pretty confident.
“In the first race I decided to try and stay out of trouble as much as possible, a lot of cars went off, so I just wanted a sensible finish. In the second race I didn't make the best of starts but I chipped away though and made up ground, to be taken out by a stupid move was very annoying.”
MacDowall's WTCC career began with promising results at the season opener at Monza, but a difficult few rounds has seen him slip to seventh in the Yokohama Trophy battle. However, though the next round at the Hungaroring follows immediately this weekend, he's confident that the nature of the circuit near Budapest will help him to be more competitive again.
“It's been a pretty hectic few weeks but I'm really looking forward to next weekend, I think Hungary will suit is,” he said. “Most of the tracks on the WTCC calendar are wide with big corners, they don't apex like those on a UK circuit and that's what I'm having to get used to. Hungaroring is more like a UK track in that respect so I'm hoping we can challenge right near the front.”