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Pace and places for Halfords Racing with Cataclean at Knockhill

Halfords Racing with Cataclean at Knockhill drivers Gordon Shedden and Dan Rowbottom showed pace and determination at Knockhill, Fife, in the British Touring Car Championship at the weekend.

Heading to Scotland, Dan was third in the championship and Gordon sixth meaning that Dan carried 57 kilos of success ballast and Gordon 33. Qualifying was tough for Dan on the short, sharp and hilly Scottish circuit. With the weight, and a 29-strong field all on the 1.2-mile circuit, finding clear track space was almost impossible, but Dan battled to 19thon the grid, while Flash also struggled and netted 11th on the grid. Gordon’s Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic was one of the fastest cars in the first of the three sectors on the lap but lost pace in sectors two and three.

Both drivers were up for the fight on raceday, Gordon especially determined to win on home soil, and with Cataclean’s associate sponsorship of the event there was no shortage of branding around the circuit for fans and the ITV4 television cameras. Both drivers elected to run the medium option tyre for the first race, to get that slower compound out of the way in a race in which they carried success weight. That meant that progress against drivers on the faster soft tyre was going to be difficult, especially for Rowbo with his 57 kilos.

Gordon made a demon start and battled his way through traffic up to eighth place, while Dan struggled with a wave of lighter cars around him and batted his way to 15th place, crucially taking the final point and losing his weight for race two.

For the second race, Gordon would carry 21 kilos and Dan no weight at all, but sadly Rowbo was involved in dramas at the Chicane on the opening lap, which dropped him to last. Adam Morgan’s BMW spun and left Dan with the choice of hitting him or taking evasive action. He chose the latter… Having been across the grass, though, Dan pitted to check for damage as a safety car was deployed. Dan rejoined ready to battle up the order once more. After a gutsy drive, Dan took 18th place while Gordon continued his push forward, jumping past Senna Proctor’s BTC Racing Honda Civic and chasing after the similar car of Josh Cook. Fifth was Flash’s reward.

Gordon lined up fifth and Dan 18th for race three which was another dramatic affair. Flash found himself stuck in traffic, a freight train building up behind leader Stephen Jelley’s BMW, but eventually Gordon moved though to fourth but couldn’t get higher up the order against the lighter cars, while Rowbo had a mega drive up the order, netting 10thplace and taking valuable championship points.

“That was hard work today,” said Dan. “Once the weight came out of the car it became much more compliant but it was really tough in race one. Race two was frustrating because I had the choice of either taking to the grass or collecting Adam (Morgan) and I went for the safer option! That dropped me to last but getting back up to 18th was a blast and it was really good to race hard in the final race as well to make progress into the top 10. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get better points but it is a reminder of how hard this championship is so we move on to Thruxton and aim for wins and podiums there as well.”

Sunday’s results leave Dan seventh in the championship with Gordon having moved up the order to fourth, while Gordon is third and Dan fourth in the Independent Drivers’ Championship. Halfords racing with Cataclean lies third in the BTCC Teams Championship and second in the Independent Teams Championship, while Dan took two more victories in the Jack Sears Trophy to sit on 13 wins and extend his championship lead.

The next races in the British Touring Car Championship will be at Thruxton, Hampshire, on August 28/29. Qualifying will be shown
on on Saturday August 28th and the raceday action on ITV4 on Sunday August 29th.