Halfords Racing with Cataclean back on the podium after strong weekend at Thruxton
Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship squad Halfords Racing with Cataclean enjoyed a strong weekend during its latest outing little over a week ago at Thruxton (27/28 August), as drivers Gordon Shedden and Dan Rowbottom bagged top-nine finishes in every contest in Hampshire.
Saturday’s free practice sessions kicked off the weekend to a promising start, with Shedden going fastest during FP2 while his team-mate bagged the fourth-quickest time before the pair went on to secure fifth and eighth during qualifying.
Shedden made an impressive start to Sunday’s opener, picking off the pack ahead from the off and capitalising on the battles at the front to fight his way up to second. The three-time titleholder then held off the advances of a hard-charging Ash Sutton to keep the spot to the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, Rowbottom would lose a place initially before battling up to seventh on lap five and defending the place for the remainder of the 16-lap contest.
Race two proved a challenge for Shedden, as Sutton attacked from the off, pushing the #52 car back into third place on the opening tour. The 43-year-old, in his 400th BTCC race, kept the reigning champion honest throughout and even closed the gap at one point, but once Dan Cammish relinquished the lead to Sutton, Shedden had to settle for the final podium spot.
Tussling with the likes of title contenders Tom Ingram and Josh Cook, Rowbottom would retain his starting position to wrap up another solid seventh-place finish.
With Rowbottom starting fifth for the final encounter, by virtue of the reverse-grid draw, the 33-year-old would drop places in the initial laps, before clawing back to sixth where he would eventually finish.
From ninth on the grid, Shedden too would initially lose out, before making his way back through to P9 by the conclusion of the 14-lap race.
“Wow, what a great way to finish the weekend including my 400th race,” said Shedden. “Those two podiums meant everything to me, and this was a big lift for the team after the past couple of rounds. That takes my tally to 138 podiums in 401 races which is not a bad ratio! Now a bit of R & R before we head to Silverstone.”
“What a weekend,” added Rowbottom. “I was nearly involved in so many incidents, I’m just glad I came out of it relatively unscathed! I’m happy to come away with 28 points which is a nice solid haul. Now onto Silverstone in a few weeks and I can’t believe that’s the penultimate weekend.”