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Rowbottom scores second win in Cataclean Clio

Daniel Rowbottom at Rockingham 18

Cataclean-backed Kidderminster racer Dan Rowbottom scored a second win of the season in the Renault UK Clio Cup at Rockingham, Northamptonshire.

Dan, in his self-run car, qualified an excellent sixth on the grid despite having lost time on Friday with a gearbox problem. However, after Dan’s trademark superb start, he was up to third by the Deene Hairpin on the opening lap. After threading his way around the infield section, Dan set about attacking for the lead, and blasted his Cataclean-backed car into second before attacking Jack McCarthy for the race lead.

Dan intended to bide his time behind McCarthy and push late-race, but as McCarthy’s pace ebbed away, Dan became trapped and could see the pack behind closing in on him. Dan decided to attack for the lead and charged through into the lead by lap three and then set about building a lead for a second win of the season. Behind, Clio stalwart Paul Rivett charged on and brought the gap to Dan down to just over half a second but Dan controlled the race perfectly to score the win.

With rival Max Coates suffering an accident, Dan brought himself back into contention for the championship.

“That was an excellent race,” said Dan. “I planned to push early but not that early! I could see that Jack didn’t have the pace and others were catching so I had to get by and get away. That worked and then Paul Rivett got past Jack for second and set off after me. I kept the gap but the car was set up to be quicker at the start rather than the end so I knew that the pace would go away a little.

“To take a second win with just my father and I running the car is outstanding and it certainly vindicated our – and Cataclean’s decision – to operate the car ourselves since Oulton Park.”

Dan was in an optimistic mood for the second race but on a wet track, Dan’s weekend took a turn for the worse. “Unfortunately, we picked up a slow RF puncture on the green flag lap which had a detrimental effect on the car and any available grip, the only option I had was to try and hang on to as many places and points as possible. I did my best but late in the race I ran wide at the Hairpin and was hit hard by Nicolas Hamilton. It was a massive hit and completely deranged the steering and I dropped back to 15th place. Worse is that I am very sore and have had x-rays on my ribs to see if there is any damage and the car needs reshelling before the next races. That gives us a big bill to face but we have proved this season that we are fighters and so we won’t give up.”

Dan and the Cataclean squad have over a month to prepare and repair the car in readiness for the next race weekend, but the team also faces a race against time to restore the crumpled Clio to its usual pristine state.

The results keep Cataclean-backed Dan fourth in the Renault UK Clio Cup standings, 59 points away from the lead, heading for the Silverstone National circuit in Northamptonshire on September 15th/16th with Sunday’s race action covered live and exclusive on ITV4.

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