Alex MacDowall sampled British Touring Car Championship machinery for the second time in as many months this past week after joining legendary squad RML for a two-day test outing at Jerez, Spain, at the wheel of Jason Plato's race winning Super-2000 specification Chevrolet Lacetti.
Having tested a rear-wheel drive Motorbase BMW 320si E90 at Brands Hatch four weeks ago, his debut outing in a BTCC car, the Cumbrian teenager returned to the more familiar territory of front-wheel drive with Ray Mallock's team on Thursday and Friday last week.
During the opening day, which was mainly dry, MacDowall won praise from RML's World Touring Car Championship regular – and double BTCC Champion – Alain Menu after lapping within just four tenths of a second of the Swiss racer's benchmark time.
Menu, at the wheel of his WTCC Chevrolet Cruze, posted a best lap of 1 minute 54.2 seconds around the 4.4 kilometre Jerez track while MacDowall lapped with a highly impressive time of 1m54.6 seconds in his BTCC Lacetti.
Wet weather arrived for day two which enabled the touring car aspirant to gain vital experience of a full range of set-ups as the track changed from wet to dry several times.
"Driving the Chevrolet Lacetti was great fun," said the Carlisle based racer, "I thoroughly enjoyed our two days at Jerez and working with everyone at RML was an absolute pleasure. Ray Mallock runs an outstanding team, there's such a wealth of experience to tap into, and to receive compliments from a driver as talented and successful as Alain Menu was very special.
"The car itself is very quick in a straight line, handles well through the corners and gives you a lot of confidence to push hard. Having now tested a rear-wheel drive BMW and the front-wheel drive Lacetti, we have plenty of food for thought for next year.
"In the meantime we're continuing to work as hard as possible to try and attract more sponsors to our 2010 BTCC bid. I can't thank RML enough for this fantastic opportunity to test with the team and I sincerely hope a deal can be done that will allow me to drive for them in 2010."