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BTCC 2019 Oulton Park

Oulton Park

Kidderminster-based Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship racer Dan Rowbottom celebrated his first points-scoring finish of the season at Oulton Park yesterday in his Cataclean Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Rowbo, who spent most of the weekend feeling unwell and his condition exacerbated with the high temperatures, battled through the Saturday qualifying session to place his Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 23rdon the grid for the opening race. “That was really tough,” said Dan. “The temperatures in the car were really high and I just feel so rough, that was really hard work. I need to rehydrate and hope that I feel better tomorrow because three races are going to be tough in these temperatures. The lap was OK but the track seemed to get slower towards the end of the session, but let’s see what I can do tomorrow.”

Dan felt better on raceday, meaning that he was on his toes at the start of race one. In front of a huge trackside crowd, and on sponsor Cataclean’s home circuit, Dan charged to 21stplace and was part of a frantic battle that kept fans entertained. “We worked on the car a lot after qualifying and dialled out some oversteer but a touch of understeer has crept in so we need to have another look at that for race two. I’m pleased though, because the car felt OK and with a few more tweaks I reckon we can move forward.”

Running the soft tyre option for race two, Dan stormed from 21stto 15th, eventually being part of an all-Mercedes battle with Aiden Moffat. The two ran nose to tail for the final third of the race but Aiden drove a wide car and Dan couldn’t quite find a gap. However, Dan stayed in the points and realised an ambition, which was to score points in his first BTCC season before the end of the first half of the season.

“I’m delighted with that! It’s been a long time coming but I feel satisfied that I’ve taken points at last, especially here which is Cataclean’s home circuit. It was in the last three laps that the realisation of a points finish hit home, and the car started to lose it’s edge about five laps from home so there was pressure on! I’ve never celebrated 15thlike that before, but it means so much to all of us. That feels like a major breakthrough.”

Dan started race three in 15thplace and suffered thanks to an early race incident that caused cars to scatter in avoidance, and also left a large section of the circuit coated in oil. Not only did that shuffle the order, it left part of the circuit slippery and no longer an overtaking opportunity. Dan finished the race in 16thplace, just missing out on points but feeling that he could have attacked more, but for the oil.

“I may not have been pushy enough early on. I was trying to keep out of trouble and attack a bit later but then the incident happened and the oil went down so that scuppered my plan of attack a bit. However, it’s another lesson learnt and I can’t wait for the second half of the season now, because I feel more confident, we can do a bit more testing and I feel a lot more at home with the car and the racing now. I wanted points before the break and I’ve done that so I’m delighted but also pleased for Cataclean. They’ve stuck by me and now the rewards are coming. Roll on Snetterton!”

Dan is now up to third in the Jack Sears Trophy, open to drivers who haven’t scored a podium finish before the start of the season. With the two drivers ahead of him

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