Alex MacDowall Concludes 2011 With Three Points Finishes

by James Broomhead
Alex MacDowall, Silverstone (Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Alex MacDowall, Silverstone (Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Alex MacDowall scored points in all three races to end his 2011 campaign in the British Touring Car Championship with Silverline Chevrolet in ninth place in the overall points.

On the Silverstone National Circuit, a circuit that rewards acceleration and top speed rather than handling – normally the strong point of MacDowall's RML-prepared Chevrolet Cruze – the 20-year-old was able to battle with his turbocharged rivals.

In qualifying MacDowall was able to beat his team leader Jason Plato by taking the fifth fastest time, two places better than Plato could achieve in his Cruze, though his example was carrying success ballast by virtue of him start the weekend level second in points.

Alex was able to convert fifth on the grid to a fifth place finish in the first race, dropping as low as eight in a midfield battle that included all three Team Aon Fords and Plato, with MacDowall being shuffled down the order before a puncture (Plato) and a penalty (Tom Chilton) lifted him into position to take sixth from Aon's Andy Neate. A late race puncture for Mat Jackson dropped him from second place, handing Alex fifth place.

After excelling in the combative pack in the first race MacDowall found himself shuffled out on the opening lap of the second encounter with contact at both Becketts and Brooklands meant he ended the first 1.6 mile tour in 15th place. Alex was able to break back into the top ten – despite carrying damage from the early contact and challenged Tom Chilton for eighth place in the final laps after the temporary lull caused by a crash on the pit straight, ending the race just 0.017 seconds apart as the two drivers crossed the finish line together.

The ninth place, however, handed MacDowall pole position on the reversed grid for the final race of the season, but a sluggish start saw him slip behind race two rival Chilton and Plato who had started in third place. MacDowall slipped to fourth on the second lap behind SEAT driver Tom Boardman, chasing the Lancastrian to the checkered flag, ending the race just two tenth of a second behind him, just short of a podium place.

“It was definitely a better weekend than Brands Hatch”, concluded MacDowall, “At least we had a car that stayed together for the whole weekend without any big problems. I did really struggle with the starts for some reason though, I didn't practice them on the way to the grid as I was bothered about the strain it'd put on the driveshaft. I don't think the clutch was great either so that didn't help but to score in all three races was a good way to end the year.”

Related articles

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More