An amazing weekend at Donington Park brought lap records, race wins and championship titles for Halfords Racing with Cataclean.
Qualifying once again featured the top 10 showdown format, with both Gordon and Dan making the cut. Dan claimed a strong 7th place, while Gordon put in a blistering lap to grab not only pole position but also a new qualifying lap record.
Gordon led from lights out to chequered flag in race 1 to take a brilliant win and top spot on the podium for the first time this season. Dan was making good progress behind until contact sent him off the track and he eventually came home in 14th place.
Race 2 saw Gordon battling with Rory Butcher for first place, with the lead swapping between them, until a charging Tom Ingram slipped passed them both to claim the win. However, the stewards later decided that Ingram overtook Gordon with an illegal ‘push to pass’ move and their positions were reversed in the final standings, with Gordon claiming his 50th BTCC career win.
Meanwhile, Dan made some great progress through the field to finish inside the top 10. The result meant that he won the Jack Sears Trophy title with four races to spare – an amazing achievement!
While neither driver could quite match their earlier achievements, there were still points to be won in the final race of the weekend. The reverse grid draw placed Dan in P2, but an early overtaking manoeuvre that didn’t pay off and a five-second penalty for being out of his grid box saw him finish in 6th. Gordon was drawn in P11 and struggled to make progress in the middle of the pack, eventually claiming 13th place.
Reactions from the drivers
Gordon Shedden: “Wow what can I say! I’ve had a great car under me all weekend and it has just felt completely hooked up! Shootout qualifying is always tricky for the front wheel drive cars as we only really have one lap to do a time, but I managed to put in one of the best laps of my career and bingo I’ve broken the lap record.
“The first race went to plan for me, and I managed to control the gap to the cars behind. The second race was a bit trickier with the weight on and I had Rory and Tom buzzing around behind me. I feel sorry for Tom, but it was a push to pass move and that unfortunately is no longer allowed. [In] race 3, I was just caught up in the usual last day at school melee and struggled to make progress. But I’m chuffed with that weekend overall, [I got some] awesome results and I can’t wait to get to Brands in two weeks’ time!”
Dan Rowbottom: “That was a frustrating weekend. I thought after qualifying, ‘I can fight from 7th position’, but other drivers had a different view. But to come away with the Jack Sears title is fantastic, particularly with one more round of the championship remaining. I’ll be glad to get away from here tonight, but I’m genuinely looking forward to Brands, [I] love the circuit and the car goes well there, so let’s have a great finale!”