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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Cumbrian race ace Alex MacDowall joins World Touring Car Championship

Rookie Carlisle racing driver Alex MacDowall will make the leap onto the global stage this year after graduating into the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Alex MacDowall photo
Alex MacDowall

MacDowall, 21, has been handed a deal with front-running British team Bamboo Engineering.

The Cumbrian had previously been competing in the British Touring Car Championship, but following the withdrawal of his team, he will step on to the world stage, with his debut taking place at Monza in Italy on March 10 and 11.

MacDowall will have his passport stamped all over the world, with WTCC rounds in Italy, Spain, Morocco, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Brazil, America, Japan, China and the world-famous street circuit in Macau.

Continuing his association with the Chevrolet brand, he will pilot a 1.6-litre turbo-engined Cruze, in which he will enjoy his maiden shakedown test later this week.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be representing Bamboo Engineering in the WTCC this year.

“It’s great to be continuing my relationship with Chevrolet and I can’t wait to drive the 1.6 turbo Cruze, as it’s a fantastic race car and it’s a dream come true being able to compete in the World Championship with such a great team.

“I really enjoyed my two years in the BTCC and I’ll miss the fans, my supporters and the sponsors who helped me achieve the success and experience I gained there. Moving into the WTCC is a massive opportunity though and could be a major turning point for my career. We’re aiming for some top results.”

Stepping into touring cars in 2010 off the back of becoming ELF Renault Clio Cup vice-champion the year before, MacDowall, from Tarraby, Carlisle, quickly got to grips with the BTCC.

He secured two podium results in his maiden season in the championship and entered the record books as the youngest ever driver to qualify on pole position in the BTCC with an outstanding performance in the wet at Snetterton in Norfolk, aged just 19 years and 197 days.

His potential earned him a coveted British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star award.

Last year’s introduction of turbo engines into the BTCC meant his team faced an uphill battle but, even so, he managed to achieve three podium finishes on his way to ninth in the standings.

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