HALFORDS RACING WITH CATACLEAN READY FOR ‘HIGH-SPEED, HIGH-INTENSITY’ THRUXTON
Following a challenging time at Knockhill, Halfords Racing with Cataclean now ventures to Thruxton, one of the team’s favourite circuits, this weekend (28/29 August) with a positive outlook, and drivers Gordon Shedden and Dan Rowbottom ready to capture more points in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
At Shedden’s home circuit of Knockhill, he fought valiantly, coming away with 32 points after finishing eighth, fifth and fourth respectively in the three races of the day, which now leaves him sitting fourth in the Championship.
Rowbottom’s weekend was tricky from the off, with a difficult qualifying session to start. He fought his way through to 15th in the first race but a manoeuvre to avoid an incident in the second race meant he had to pit for debris to be removed and effectively curtailed his race. In race three, the car came alive, and the 32-year-old fought his way up to a respectable tenth position from 18th. This allowed him to stretch his lead in the Jack Sears Trophy to an impressive 88 points with half of the 30-round campaign remaining.
Thruxton is a track the team has had a lot of success at previously, and one where its pair of Honda Civic Type Rs run well, with 12 podium finishes – including a trio of victories – for the squad over the past five years enough to bring an air of confidence for the Droitwich-based outfit.
With fans returning to the Hampshire circuit, Shedden and Rowbottom will no doubt be buoyed by the much-welcome boost in the atmosphere, after kicking off the campaign at Thruxton behind closed doors earlier this year, with Sunday’s race day commencing with the popular drivers’ parade at 0950.
“Knockhill was an interesting weekend for me,” said Shedden. “I couldn’t quite get a podium for the home crowd. The lap times were super close this year and, with the whole grid covered by just over a second, it is difficult to move your way through the pack.
“But I really love Thruxton; it’s a high-speed, high-intensity lap. It’s the fastest we go at any of the circuits this year, so you have to have your wits about you at all times. One thing that is key this year is that you must qualify well, otherwise your weekend is compromised from the off, so that will be my goal: to qualify well. I’ve been on the podium here 12 times in the last 10 years, so I hope I can mirror that again this weekend!”
“I’m going to draw a line under Knockhill and move on,” admitted Rowbottom. “The highs and lows of motorsport after Oulton eh! I just couldn’t seem to get the car where I needed it to be, but I made progress all weekend and at least salvaged some points in race three.
“I’m the same as Flash, I really like Thruxton. It’s full commitment around here. When you’re going through Church at nearly 150mph you have to take a deep breath, tighten the belts and hold on! I want to be back up the sharp end of the championship again after Thruxton, so I’ll be pushing hard all weekend.”