Halfords Racing with Cataclean experienced another weekend of ups and downs at Croft, but still managed to claim several top 10 finishes and a podium place.
While Dan and Gordon both excelled in Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2, Qualifying proved to be a much trickier affair. The session was stopped twice for red flags and as both drivers were out on track during these incidents, they lost the opportunity to set a fast time. Dan managed to grab 9th by completing his final lap with literally seconds to spare, but Gordon struggled to get a clear lap in and ended up in 17th.
Dan’s time on the track was cut sadly short in Race 1, when early contact from two other drivers sent him into the barriers on the third lap. Meanwhile Gordon fought his way up through the field from 17th and claimed a great 10th place finish.
Gordon continued his charge through the pack in Race 2, eventually finishing in 6th place. Dan followed in his footsteps and celebrated his 50th start in the BTCC in some style by climbing all the way from the back of the grid to 16th place.
The reverse grid draw saw Gordon start in 2nd place. Surrounded by the quicker starting rear wheel drive cars of Colin Turkington and Ash Sutton, he charged into the first corner and almost pipped Turkington for the lead. He then settled into second and claimed a well-deserved podium position when the chequered flag fell.
Meanwhile, Dan continued to overcome his bad luck from Race 1 by working his way through the field and eventually grabbed his first points of the day with a brilliant ninth-place finish.
Reactions from the drivers
Gordon Shedden: “I’ll take a 10th, a 6th and a 2nd. Qualifying is now so critical in this championship and I just literally ran out of laps; with the red flags, it was wrong time, wrong place! I’m really pleased with my performance today, steadily moving up the field and grabbing myself a good haul of championship points. My start in Race 3 was probably the best I have done all season and saw me challenging Colin into turn one, so again [I’m] chuffed with that result and a podium. We now move onto Silverstone this weekend, so no rest for the guys back at base and I’ll be giving it my all again to repay them for all their hard work!”
Dan Rowbottom: “[It was] a frustrating weekend. [In] qualifying, I just managed to get my hot lap in with seconds of the session to spare! Race 1 was over before it started; I had contact from two drivers on separate corners that effectively ended my race on the third lap. The car felt really strong in race 2 and I was able to scythe my way through the field, which then set me up well for the final race of the day. Race 3, I just got my head down and moved forward. My car doesn’t look so pretty after the weekend, but finishing 9th in that final race just shows what we could have done had I not been taken out in race 1! Anyway, off to Silverstone now, where I’ll be pushing hard for points.”