Alex MacDowallELF Renault Clio Cup title contender Alex MacDowall recorded his 10th podium finish of the 2009 campaign at Silverstone National Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 29th August, to consolidate his runner-up spot in the driver standings and remain in touch with series leader Philip Glew.

The Total Control Racing-run teenager, who started the 15th round of the season an uncharacteristic ninth on the grid after problems with his car’s dampers in qualifying, battled through the order very impressively and finished the race just over a second shy of the race winner, Dave Newsham. In the process, he also produced the second fastest lap of 1m05.625 seconds on the final tour.

Underlining the pace of the TCR cars were team-mates Daniel Lloyd and Mike Robinson, both of whom were faced with difficult challenges for different reasons. While Lloyd qualified a very strong fifth on the grid – a career best effort in Clio Cup – Robinson had to start from 21st and last position when a puncture, mere minutes into the qualifying session, forced him to pull off the circuit.

Although making a good getaway at the beginning of this afternoon’s race, Lloyd lost places on a robust opening lap after receiving a tap from behind and on the following tour he was pushed wide to lose yet more ground. Slipping to ninth position, he fought hard to come back through the order and took a top six finish while also posting the third fastest lap of 1m05.653 en route.

Bitterly disappointed to be starting at the back of the grid after his qualifying woes, Robinson proved beyond any doubt he could have been a podium contender by posting the fastest lap of all in the race – 1m05.566 seconds – and carving his way through to a well deserved 12th place finish.

For round 14 race winner Sam Tordoff, today’s race ended abruptly on lap 16 when he was pitched into retirement after being hit by the car of Stephen Tyldsley at the exit of Luffield. Battling over 12th position at the time, Tordoff’s enforced exit marks only his second non-score of the season.

“All four of our Clio drivers had good pace in the race, even though we did lack some performance in qualifying, and each of them did a solid job”, commented TCR team principal Lee Brookes, “It was great to be on the podium again with Alex, he drove very well, and Daniel’s top six was a very good result considering his troubles on the first couple of laps.

“Mike did a fantastic job to grab the fastest lap and it shows what he might have been able to do if he hadn’t had the puncture in qualifying which forced him to start in last place. We’re obviously very disappointed for Sam, the incident wasn’t his fault he just got hit and that was it.”

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography