It was another weekend of ups and downs for Halfords Racing with Cataclean and Team Dynamics at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
The team triumphed in qualifying, claiming an impressive 1-2 for Halfords Racing with Cataclean. Dan took the top spot ahead of Gordon by just 5000th’s of a second, giving him his first career pole in the BTCC.
The fast-starting rear wheel drive cars claimed the early advantage in race 1, before Gordon and Dan got into their rhythm and started to fight their way back up through the field. After some amazing overtaking manoeuvres, Gordon was in second and Dan in third – and both were closing in on the race leader. While the race ended a couple of laps too soon for the win (with Gordon just 100th of a second behind Oliphant), it saw both Halfords Racing with Cataclean drivers on the podium for the first time this season.
Fortunes turned in race 2, with both Gordon and Dan getting caught up in incidents with other drivers. Dan was demoted down the order, but managed to fight his way through a highly competitive pack to a great fourth place finish. Gordon ended up in the gravel, but recovered to finish in 21st place.
Race 3 saw Dan starting in 9th due to the reverse grid and Gordon down in 21st. It was always going to be challenging race with such short laps and the whole grid covered by just over a second, but Gordon valiantly fought his way back up to 16th place. Dan, meanwhile, suffered from early contact again and crossed the line in 11th position.
Reactions from the drivers
Dan Rowbottom: “I was over the moon on Saturday night with my first pole, it means so much to me and my sponsors Cataclean! I must admit I was a little bit nervous going to the grid in race one and didn’t make the best of starts, but I knew I had the car under me and gradually started moving up through the pack to finish on the podium. Race 2, I think I was a little too eager to get past Oliphant early on and that cost me places, but I was happy with fourth in the end. We now have our summer break, so I’m going to take that time out with the family, regroup and then my full focus will be on Oulton Park.”
Gordon Shedden: “The weekend started so well for us, but contact early on in race 2 forced me into the gravel and then your day is pretty much done, especially around this tight and twisty oval. The car felt awesome this weekend again, so I am really frustrated to be going away from here with just the one podium! In race one, I think one more lap and I could have overtaken Oliphant for the top step, but that’s racing! Onwards and upwards now to Oulton Park in a few weeks’ time. I’ve got a chance to rest and recover now, recharge the batteries and be ready to fight come the next round.”