STRING OF TOP TEN FINISHES FROM ROLLERCOASTER WEEKEND FOR HALFORDS RACING WITH CATACLEAN
Halfords Racing with Cataclean drivers Dan Rowbottom and Gordon Shedden showed pace and determination at Knockhill last weekend (14/15 August) during the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship as the squad aimed for success in Scotland.
Heading to Scotland, the pair were third and sixth in the standings, resulting in Rowbottom’s Honda Civic Type R having an additional 57kg of success ballast and Shedden’s 33kg.
With Shedden topping the times during the initial Free Practice session, the team’s hopes for a similar performance during qualifying were dashed, as the Scot settled for 11th. Rowbottom – who struggled to find a setup he was comfortable with due to the additional weight in the car – eventually ended up in 19th for Sunday’s opening contest.
Both drivers were up for the fight on race day, with Shedden especially determined to win on home soil. Electing to run the medium option tyre for the first race, to get the slower compound out of the way during a race in which they both carried success weight, progress proved difficult but not impossible for the duo, with Shedden taking eighth and Rowbottom claiming the final points-paying position in 15th at the chequered flag.
Race two saw Shedden quick from the off and utilising his local knowledge to make up places, securing fifth by the end of the 27-lap encounter. Rowbottom, who benefitted from an early Safety Car period following an off, went on to finish in 18th spot.
Lining up fifth on the grid for the final race of the day, Shedden found his #52 machine caught up in traffic before making his way into fourth. Unable to progress any further, he maintained the place for a strong points haul.
Rowbottom, who started the encounter from 18th, went on to make up places throughout the race, breaking into the top ten in the final few laps for his second points finish of the day.
Leaving the Scottish circuit, Shedden moves up to fourth in the standings, while Rowbottom’s Jack Sears Trophy fight continues, the 32-year-old increasing his points lead at the summit.
“Well, that was a tough weekend!” announced Shedden. “I couldn’t quite get to the sharp end in qualifying. I was only two tenths off pole, which put me 11th, so it shows you how close it is around Knockhill. Then it was a case of grinding out the results, but I’m happy to come away with an eighth, fifth and fourth, as that brings me right back in contention in the Championship. We usually go well at Thruxton, so I’ll be hoping I can get a good points haul there as well!”
“That just wasn’t my weekend,” confessed Rowbottom. “I couldn’t quite get the car hooked up the way I needed it. I gradually made my way through the field in race one, but it is incredibly hard to overtake here, particularly with the entire field being covered by only one second! I then unfortunately had to pit in race two after an excursion led to me filling the radiator full of grass and gravel, which then put me completely on the back foot for race three. But then the car came alive and I managed to scythe my way through to a top ten finish, so we finished on a high with me winning the Jack Sears Trophy again.”
The next trio of Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship races take place at Thruxton, Hampshire, on 28/29 August. Qualifying will be streamed live on itv.com/btcc on the Saturday before Sunday’s race day action will be shown on ITV4.