Alex MacDowall BlogBTCC

TCF Blog: Alex MacDowall – Post-Silverstone

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Hi everyone…

Silverstone was a strong weekend for me. We were quick in free practice one and two, the car felt good on the race runs we did and Jason and I were practicing towing each other around again. The team were on a high and so was I going into qualifying, I knew that we would be strong but my aim was to be quickest of the non-LPG cars.

My first run in qualifying was a great lap and I was towing Jason around but it ended up being my quickest time of qualifying. At the end we were third and the two gas powered Fords were on the front row which didn`t bother me too much with the performance advantage they have in a straight line. It was definitely a good team effort as I managed to help Jason jump from sixth to fourth by towing him around.

Heading out on track

With the day coming to an end me and my dad went out and walked the track to discuss overtaking moves and defensive lines. There are a few corners that have changed like Becketts where the kerb has been flattened and the exit run off is now grass. It's always something I do at every track which helps me a lot as you can't see that much when you're driving and focused on the racing line.

On the Sunday I had to do a Q&A for BTCCcrazy which lasted about 20 minutes in the morning. Then I had breakfast, which normally consists of fruit and cereal. The grid was extremely busy with lots of team sponsors. I knew we had to put on a good show with Ray Mallock there, the boss of RML, and the MD of Chevrolet UK.

Ready to go racing

I was happy with the way race one went. I bogged down off the start but I knew once Jason got alongside me he wouldn't hang me out to dry on the outside and gave me the room I needed to slot in behind him. I set the fastest lap for a manufacturer car in the race and was right on Jason's tail from start to finish. I came under a bit of pressure from (Andrew) Jordan in the TOCA-powered Vauxhall but we held him off and pulled away by lap 10. It was nice to get a good result in race one which placed us well for race two.

The second race was a bit disappointing though, falling back into ninth, but it was all kicking off in front of me and I got a big thump up the rear on lap two by Owy (Paul O'Neill) which allowed (Matt) Neal and (Gordon) Shedden past.

"Race three was a bit of a bump"

Race three was a bit of a bump as well when I had a launch problem off the grid. I went for full throttle and nothing happened, the lights then when out and I stalled. I got hit up the rear by a BMW and it was such an impact it gave me a bump start. The car looked really bad when I got out but we still managed to finish the race and I fought my way from the back into the points. I am happy with how the weekend went on the whole and we were once again as quick as anyone out there.

On Monday I already started getting ready for Knockhill, I went up there in my road car for some tuition with Jonathan Adam who is an instructor there and used to race in the BTCC. He taught me the wet and dry lines which was useful. It's now every other weekend until the season is over so it's not long to wait between race meetings. Usually the week before an event I make sure I go to bed early and I watch all the different years of BTCC from the track we're going to. I'm going through the Knockhill videos this week to get some pointers – hopefully it'll be a good weekend.

– Alex

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The Checkered Flag was set up in August 2009 and is dedicated to providing independent daily news and features from around the world of motorsport.
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