Hot on the heels of an outstanding start to the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship at Monza just over a week ago, Britain’s Alex MacDowall is confident of continuing his superb early season form when the series makes its annual visit to Morocco this coming weekend, 6th/7th April.
Heading to the Circuit Moulay El Hassan street track in Marrakech holding second position in the Yokohama Independents Trophy, and equal fourth in the main WTCC title race, the Carlisle ace made his intentions clear during the season opener with class victory and his first outright WTCC podium.
After such an impressive start to his second season in the world championship, 22-year-old Alex is aiming to keep the momentum going when he arrives in North Africa – especially as he was very competitive in his Chevrolet at the 4.5-kilometre Moroccan circuit on his first visit there in 2012.
“Monza was a good start to the season for us and I want to continue that in Marrakech, I’ll be aiming for the front row in qualifying”, commented Alex, “I think it should play well for us, the track should suit us as the Chevys were strong there last year. We didn’t do too badly last season, we had some bad luck in the end but we qualified strongly and that’s what we need to do again.”
During the corresponding Moroccan event in 2012, Alex was all set for two Yokohama Independents Trophy podiums at least and his pace certainly merited such results. In the opening encounter, he was in the overall top six on the first lap when unfortunate contact dropped him to the back of the field. He mounted a terrific recovery though, climbing back into the top 12 and sixth in class.
Beginning race two on the Independents pole position, hopes of a potential class win – which would have been his first – went awry almost immediately when a broken driveshaft led to retirement. This year, Alex is determined to put the record straight with more overall podiums and a bid for a couple of class victories.
He added: “We need to be aiming to qualify right up near the front again next weekend. If the weather is warm it will help the BMWs but the kerbs in Marrakech are hard on the cars and the Chevy copes with them really well. Our car is good on the kerbs and there are long straights which suit the strengths of the Cruze – we should be aiming to come away with two really strong results.”
Following a brief half-hour test session in Marrakech on Friday, 5th April, two additional 30-minute practice sessions will take place on Saturday, 6th April, ahead of qualifying at 14.30 (local time). Both races will be held on Sunday, 7th April, with round three scheduled to start at 15.20 and round four set to commence at 16.20 – all of the action will be screened live on the British Eurosport network.
2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship Driver Standings:
=4th Alex MacDowall, 18pts
2013 FIA WTCC Yokohama Independents Trophy Driver Standings:
2nd Alex MacDowall, 12pts
Photo by Romano Poli/www.photo-4.com