Alex MacDowall is hoping for a return to form and fortune as the World Touring Car Championship heads to California this weekend.

The Briton has seen a downturn in his fortunes on the race track and has not scored any outright championship points since the Race of Austria in the middle of May.

As a result, the Bamboo Engineering driver has lost ground in the battle for a championship top-six finish and has seen his hopes go to slim for a shot at the independents trophy, which was one of his targets before the season got underway.

Now a whopping 41 points behind Yokohama trophy for independents leader, Michel Nykjaer, MacDowall goes to Sonoma hopeful of a strong weekend after he gained a double independents podium 12 months ago.

"Hopefully the visit to America should be the same as last season", the Chevrolet Cruze driver commented, "Sonoma was a good event for us, the Chevy worked well there so we just need to draw on that experience, try and be a step ahead. I really think an outright podium is do-able but we need some more Independents Trophy wins just to close down that gap in the championship."

The 22 year old is still searching for his first outright victory but, is 'confident' of success.

"Although we're in the last part of the season, there are still a lot of points up for grabs and I really want to try and get that first overall win", he added, "Sonoma is probably the best track we go to, it's a bit like a cross between Knockhill and Oulton Park in the UK - a real up and down circuit. We haven't had lady luck on our side so far this year, but I'm confident in the car and my own ability."

The former BTCC Silverline Chevrolet driver sits tenth in the overall standings on 73 points and holds third in the independents charge with 88 points and two wins from earlier in the season to his name.

by Dexter Fielding