Alex MacDowall arrives in California ahead of the ninth round of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship at the Sonoma Raceway looking to break into the top three in the Yokohama Independents’.
The 21 Year old Carlisle racer can’t wait to get back into action after the lengthy summer break; 9 weeks have gone by since the last round of the Championship in Curitiba, Brazil.
Having got into his stride at the wheel of the bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, he took his first Yokohama Independents’ class win in Austria at the Salzburgring and since Austria; he has featured on the Independents’ podium in Portugal and Brazil. To date, he has five Independent podium finishes.
Arriving at Sonoma, MacDowall is 12 points behind the Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC of Stefano D’Aste and while he is 48 points behind Norbert Michelisz in the Zengo Motorsport BMW 320TC, he is confident that he can become a part of the title battle.
“We’re only 12 points off third place in the Independents Trophy and I’m sure we can try and move into that top three next weekend”, commented Alex, “My goal is still to try and win the title, we’re a way off at the moment but there will be double points on offer at Macau [the final round of 2012] and anything can happen before then.”
With the trip to Sonoma being the first ever WTCC Race of the USA, none of the WTCC field has any previous experience of the 4025km circuit.
“I’ve been working really hard on my fitness since the last round in Brazil and I’ve been learning as much as possible about Sonoma on the simulator,” continued the former BTCC driver.
“I’m not sure if many of the others will have ever been to the track so it should be a level playing field from that point of view. We will be carrying maximum ballast again on the Chevys though, which will mean extra wear on the tyres.”
After the trip to the circuit formally known as Sears Points and Infineon Raceway, MacDowall faces a trio of trips to Asia, starting off with Suzuka in October before China and Macau in November.
“I’m feeling very confident for next weekend, it’ll be great to experience another new circuit and I really think the Chevrolet should be strong”, concluded MacDowall, “It’s a fantastic car, the class of the field, so I’m looking forward to my first visit to Sonoma.”