Tough day at Thruxton for Halfords Racing with Cataclean
The Halfords Racing with Cataclean endured a tough day at Thruxton, Hampshire, on Sunday in the British Touring Car Championship as its two Honda Civics battled through the three rounds of the ultra-competitive championship.
The weekend started well with Dan Rowbottom taking a second pole position of the season, and the second of his career, during the all-important 30-minute qualifying session. “That was a mega lap,” said Dan. “I was on the limit for that lap and dug deep but I am really chuffed with that. It’s so fast around here, that you really have to hang on, but that was a great start to the weekend.” Teammate Gordon Shedden lined up 14th after a grassy moment on his hot lap and he needed to pit with a minor brake fire.
Sunday’s race action took place in front of a large crowd and Dan was determined to convert pole into the race lead while Gordon was equally keen to gain places and push forward. With championship success ballast aboard, Dan carried 27 kilos and Gordon 48, but as Team Dynamics tried to gain an advantage over the opposition, the set-up that was used turned out to be less than ideal. That meant that although Dan led off the line, he was passed by the similar Honda Civic of Josh Cook and didn’t have the pace to retaliate, dropping him to sixth place, while Gordon also struggled for pace and ended the opening stanza 13th. Dan did take a 14th win in the Jack Sears Trophy for drivers that hadn’t scored an outright podium finish before the start of the season.
Both had high hopes for race two but both were hit by mechanical dramas as Dan’s turbo boost valve failed at the start of the race and Gordon had a clutch issue that relegated both drivers to the rear of the field and left them with work to do in race three.
Dan made a good start to gain places off the line while Gordon went for a gap in the traffic at the first corner but brushed the similar Honda of Jade Edwards which put both cars off the road, Gordon suffering significant damage and retiring from the race.
Dan made progress through and forged his way through the traffic up to 14th from 26th on the grid to take valuable championship points and win number 15 in the Jack Sears Trophy, but with three safety car periods due to accidents it was hard for Dan to establish a race rhythm.
“That was a tough day,” said Cataclean brand ambassador Rowbo. “The car was good enough for pole position but the set-up in race one just didn’t give us the pace we needed and although sixth was OK, I was hoping for better. The mechanical drama in race two hit us and meant that I had to work really hard in race three but we had three safety car periods in that race so that meant fewer racing laps to make the progress. I’m pleased with how I drove this weekend and the whole team will look at the data and work out where we can make tweaks for the next races at Croft and come back even stronger.”
Dan now lies eighth in the championship with Gordon ninth, with Dan fifth in the Independent drivers’ championship and Sheds sixth. Halfords Racing with Cataclean lies fifth in the Teams’ championship and fourth in the Independent teams’ title race, while Rowbo leads the Jack Sears Trophy with 15 wins.