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Rowbottom storms to Silverstone podium

Cataclean-backed Kidderminster racer Dan Rowbottom was the star of the Renault UK Clio Cup races at Silverstone, Northamptonshire at the weekend as Dan blasted his way from 16th to third place in the opening race.

Cataclean-backed Dan had struggled with a gearbox drama in the qualifying session, from which a driver takes his two best times for the two races’ grid positions. A borrowed gearbox was installed in the car for the opening race and Dan was a man on a mission.

As is customary, RowBo made a lightning start and had gained four places by the end of the opening lap around the 1.6-mile Silverstone National circuit. A lap later, Dan was up to 10th but as the pack ahead squabbled and delayed itself, Dan kept picking off places and then latched on to the pack of the eight-car train arguing over the lead. A brave move around the outside at Luffied put Dan into seventh place but when three cars tangled at Brooklands on lap nine, Dan pounced and charged up to fourth place! Dan then stalked James Dorlin for third pace and a brave dive up the inside at Brooklands put him third before the safety car was deployed to neutralise the race. On the restart, Dan hung on to third place, hampered by tyre wear after he pushed so hard early in the race to gain places. Sixteenth to third was a mighty effort in the drive of the weekend.

“I decided to just go for it and push and that probably hurt the tyres a bit later in the race but was determined to get up the order,” explained Dan. “There was an incident at Becketts which meant that waved yellow flags prevented any overtaking for a few laps and to get third, after the problems this morning was great and has underlined my race-craft as well. I am really chuffed with that result!”

Dan’s second best lap time in qualifying placed him 13th on the grid for race two and another demon start put him eighth by the end of the opening lap. More brave pills had been consumed on race morning and hence Dan went around the outside at Brooklands to gain another place on lap three, Dan then became stuck in the pack. “The engine didn’t feel as good today as yesterday, it felt a bit flatter somehow. That meant that I lacked the straight-line speed of the others and the pack ahead didn’t misbehave so I didn’t really get a chance to gain any more ground. I also had a bit of a rub with another car and that bent the steering, so seventh was a fair result all told!

“With the troubles we have had in qualifying, a third and a seventh is a solid weekend. For a tiny team, we have proved how we can fight back from problems and I would like to think people saw how good I am at overtaking and making progress without overly aggressive driving. Now we go to Brands Hatch for the last two races where wins are the target.”

The results keep Cataclean-backed Dan fourth in the Renault UK Clio Cup standings heading for Brands Hatch in Kent next on September 29th/30th with Sunday’s race action covered live and exclusive on ITV4.

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