CHALLENGING WEEKEND FOR HALFORDS RACING WITH CATACLEAN
Halfords Racing with Cataclean endured a mixed weekend at Snetterton during the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship as the squad experienced the highs and lows of Britain’s premier motorsport series.
Seemingly kicking the weekend off on a high – having already topped the times in Free Practice two – Gordon Shedden drove his Honda Civic Type R to its first pole position of the campaign before a technical infringement saw the Scot disqualified from the session and put back to 28th on the grid for the opening contest.
Team-mate Dan Rowbottom went 11th fastest but would subsequently be promoted to tenth spot after Shedden’s penalty.
Race one started well for Rowbottom, as the #32 Honda instantly made places up the grid. However, the 32-year-old ran wide on the opening tour and dropped down the order, eventually taking 13th place at the chequered flag.
Shedden stated his intentions of a points-finish from the off with a forceful drive from the back of the grid, methodically picking his way through the pack and making up 13 places to finish 15th.
A disappointing race two ended up with a hard-fought 11th position for Shedden and 15th for Rowbottom as the searing heat continued to push the grid to its limits.
Things took a turn for the better in the final race of the day, as a great drive from Shedden saw the #52 car make it onto the podium for the first time this year, with the Scot securing a well-earned third.
Rowbottom also made great strides to end the day in tenth, completing a hat-trick of Jack Sears Trophy victories for the Kidderminster racer.
“It was a frustrating day after qualifying on pole,” admitted Shedden. “It’s always difficult to make your way through traffic at Snetterton, but I gave it my all and managed to grab a podium out of race three. I was thinking of challenging for second position but preferred to get the points in the bank, which has now helped me break into the top ten in the Drivers’ Championship. The car felt strong all weekend so I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch now in just under two weeks’ time where we generally run well.”
“A tricky weekend for me,” said Rowbottom. “The car felt great, but I just couldn’t get the results we deserved. Around Snetterton, once you get stuck in the train, it is very difficult to make any moves. Race one, you could see as soon as I got pushed out wide it opened the door for everyone else to come through. But I managed to gain some much-needed points over the weekend and come away leading the Jack Sears Trophy, so overall I’m happy with the weekend.”
With both Shedden and Rowbottom within the top ten in the Independent Drivers’ Standings, and the latter leading in the Jack Sears Trophy battle, the team will be aiming to build on the pace and potential shown at Snetterton with more success on Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit on 26/27 June.