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STUNNING MAIDEN BTCC WIN FOR ROWBOTTOM AT OULTON PARK

Halfords Racing with Cataclean enjoyed a stellar weekend during the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, with three podium finishes plus a stunning maiden BTCC win for Dan Rowbottom at Oulton Park.

With Rowbottom and team-mate Gordon Shedden lining up fourth and second respectively for the opening race, the pair were fired up for more strong points hauls in Cheshire.

Kidderminster racer Rowbottom rocketed off the grid as the race got underway, chasing Shedden into Old Hall as the pair both nipped past pole-sitter Senna Proctor. However, an incident during the opening lap would see the race start over and they would have it all to do again.

This was no issue for the #32 Honda Civic Type R though, who fired past Shedden and into the lead when the lights went out for a second time. The pair ran together for the full race distance, despite a determined Shedden looking to make a move on several occasions.

With his first-ever win buoying his confidence, a jubilant Rowbottom headed into race two ready for another strong result and the 32-year-old didn’t disappoint, even with the additional success ballast of 75kg.

It was another impressive start from Rowbottom and Shedden off the front row, but a decisive move from Rory Butcher saw the Scot jump the pair into the lead.

Defending second to the chequered flag, Rowbottom went on to bag another podium finish – and significant points haul – while Shedden, having been somewhat shuffled down the order during the early stages, settled for sixth spot.

The final race of the day saw Shedden fourth and Rowbottom eighth on the grid by virtue of the reverse grid draw, and the pair once again moved forward from the off, with Shedden up into the podium positions and Rowbottom into the top six by the end of the opening tour.

Despite two stoppages due to accidents, both Honda Civic Type Rs would defend their positions throughout the encounter, with third and sixth place finishes just reward for Shedden and Rowbottom’s efforts.

The impressive results, which mark Rowbottom’s best-ever BTCC race weekend, now see Halfords Racing with Cataclean sit second in the Teams’ Standings, while Rowbottom and Shedden occupy third and sixth in the Drivers’ table.

Rowbottom’s continued Jack Sears Trophy success means he remains at the summit of the points, with an impressive nine successive class victories.

Heading to Knockhill (14/15 August), Shedden’s home track, the pair will no doubt be aiming to put even more points on the board and celebrate the return of fans to the Scottish track by putting on a real show at the 1.27-mile circuit.

“Wow what a weekend!” announced Rowbottom. “That was my first win and best points score ever in the BTCC and sees me catapult to the sharp end of the championship! It’s been hard-fought getting here and I must thank Team Dynamics and Cataclean for their faith in me.

“My confidence continues to grow, and I think that showed in race two coping with the pressure whilst running with full ballast. I’m chuffed to bits not only for me but for my family, the boys and girls in the team and my sponsors. I’m itching now to get out there racing again in two weeks’ time at Knockhill.”

“That first win of the season still eludes me,” admitted Shedden. “But congratulations to Dan on his first win. I got mine at Oulton Park many moons ago and I know how special that feels. A good solid weekend of points – and a couple of trips to the podium – gets me right back in the championship fight. I’ll be giving it my all when we go to my home circuit of Knockhill next time out.”

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