Two wins and a title for Halfords Racing with Cataclean
An outstanding weekend for Halfords Racing with Cataclean in the British Touring Car Championship resulted in a pole position, two wins and a title for drivers Gordon Shedden and Dan Rowbottom at Donington Park.
Gordon scooped pole position in the two-part qualifying session on Saturday as he hustled his Honda Civic to the top time in the 10-minute showdown. He converted that to a win in race one, led race two and was handed the win after contact from Tom Ingram was deemed to be a push-to-pass. That gave him career win number 50.Dan took two more wins in the Jack Sears Trophy to secure the title with four rounds to spare after an outstanding season. That brings his JST win tally to 20 out of 17 races.
Gordon took honours in race one, bolting away from pole position to control the race while fending off the Vauxhall Astra of Dan Lloyd. Despite Lloyd’s efforts, there was no usurping Flash who hung on for career win 49.
“It wasn’t comfortable,” he said post-race, “as Dan was always there and I could see Rory (Butcher, Gordon’s brother-in-law) closing as well in third but it is great to get that win and it is a real boost for the team, especially after pole position yesterday. The cards just haven’t fallen for me this year but hopefully this is the start of a good run.”
Dan, meanwhile, qualified seventh and had an early battle with the Honda Civic of Josh Cook, which damaged the car’s tracking and forced him to drop down the order as he struggled for pure pace. Dan battled on to finish in 14th place, frustrated that his qualifying pace was compromised by Cook’s zealotry early in the race.
For race two, Gordon started on pole but now his Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda was laden with 75 kilos of success ballast, while Dan lined up 14th, on a mission to make progress. Gordon jumped into the lead before Rory Butcher’s Toyota Corolla moved past. It didn’t take long for the family battle to swing back in favour of Flash as he asserted himself and took back the lead. Behind though, ballast free, was Tom Ingram’s Hyundai which was charging and latched on to the tail of Gordon heading to the Coppice on lap 10. The two made slight contact as they entered the corner, the front of the Hyundai touching the rear of the Civic, enough to slightly force wide the Honda. Ingram took the lead, Gordon finishing second, but post-race, officials awarded Ingram a time penalty that dropped him back to second and gave Flash his 50 th BTCC win. Dan forged his way into the mix moving into 10th place and securing a 19th JST win, enough to win the crown in his maiden season with Halfords Racing with Cataclean in the Team Dynamics-operated Honda Civic.Dan started second on the grid for race three but was awarded a five-second penalty for being slightly over his grid mark and although he finished fourth on the road, the penalty put him sixth in the final order. Even so, Dan did enough to take an outstanding 20th Jack Sears Trophy win having dominated the class all season. Gordon, meanwhile, with 66 kilos of weight and the reverse grid order to contend with, batted to 13th place at the flag after his best-scoring weekend of the season, adding lap leading points and the point for pole to his win strike. Said new Jack Sears Trophy champion Dan Rowbottom: “I’m delighted to win the Jack Sears Trophy in my first season in the team. Twenty JST wins is great in itself and I want to win the remaining three to make it a record in one season, but to add two positions and an outright win into the tally as well has made it a great return to the BTCC for me.”Gordon now lies eighth in the championship with Dan 10th while they are fifth and sixth respectively in the independent drivers’ championship. Halfords Racing with Cataclean is fifth in the teams’ championship and third in the independent teams’ battle.
The final races in the British Touring Car Championship are at Brands Hatch on October 23/24, with qualifying live on itv.com/btcc on Saturday and the raceday action live on ITV4 on Sunday October 24th.