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Consistency pays off at Silverstone for Halfords Racing with Cataclean

A tough day at Silverstone for Halfords Racing with Cataclean generated three top 10 finishes for Dan Rowbottom and moved him back into the top 10 in the championship.

Dan Rowbottom and Gordon Shedden arrived at Silverstone with high hopes around the 1.6-mile National Circuit, but Flash struggled to get an ideal lap in the first part of qualifying which dropped him out of the top 10 which would progress to the second 10-minute shootout. Dan suffered a misfire in Q1 and then a broken wishbone in Q2 but still produced an outstanding lap to qualify seventh for the opening race, Flash starting 14th.

Dan made a good getaway and was in the leading pack on the opening lap, but poor Gordon was hit by Senna Proctor’s BTC Racing Honda Civic exiting Brooklands on the opening lap, which in turn pushed him wide and he was collected by an innocent Sam Smelt (Toyota Corolla). The resulting damage, which put Flash out of the race, was to mechanical components as well as bodywork meaning that the gearbox was broken and needed replacing for race two: to do that, the whole engine had to come out and that started a mammoth job by the Halfords Racing with Cataclean mechanics.

Dan in the meantime was gradually overhauled by one of the rear-wheel drive cars and finished eighth, slightly frustrated by the car’s pace. “It just didn’t quite seem to have the edge over those around me,” reckoned Dan. “Once Ash Sutton got by me, I couldn’t stay with him and that is strange on a short lap, especially as his car had weight and mine didn’t, so we will look at the set-up for race two.”

The Herculean effort by the Team Dynamics squad meant that Gordon was on the grid for race two, starting 27th and ready for a charge through the field, with Rowbo lining up eighth. Gordon suffered an early skirmish with an overly-aggressive Jade Edwards (Honda Civic) but Flash survived the scare to finish 19th while Rowbo battled up to sixth place after a race-long fight in the leading gaggle. Rowbo was a little happier with his car, especially as he carried 21 kilos of success ballast into the race.

Dan lined up sixth for the semi-reverse grid race three, with Flash 19th but Gordon struggled away as the lights changed dropping him down the pack. Rowbo, now carrying 39 kilos of success weight had a battle with Colin Turkington’s BMW which resulted in a little damage to the Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic. Dan battled on to notch up ninth place and to move into 10th place in the championship, just one point behind team-mate Gordon.

Rowbo also completed his fourth triple-slam of the season in the Jack Sears Trophy, for drivers without an outright podium to their names at the start of the season, by claiming victory in all three races, bringing his season tally to an outstanding 18 JST wins.

“It’s been a tough day,” said Rowbo. “The racing has been amazingly close and competitive but lots of people have struggled to make progress through traffic, not just me and Flash but everyone I have talked to! Maybe the absence of the option tyre took away a variable that would have been useful but, on the positive side, I was in the top 10 in every race and took three more Jack Sears Trophy wins. That is pretty decent – it is just that our targets changed after my win at Oulton Park but to be back in the top 10 in the championship is very good news. Six races remain and I will be fighting in each one of them.”

The British Touring Car Championship moves to Donington Park on October 9/10 with qualifying on
itv.com/btcc on Saturday with all the raceday action on ITV4 on Sunday October 10th.