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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Rowbottom beats Shedden for maiden win after crimson flag

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After the mid-race stoppage, Rowbottom lined up alongside the sister Crew Dynamics Honda Civic Kind R of early chief Gordon Shedden on the entrance row, and obtained the bounce on the three-time champion to steer the six-lap dash to the flag.

The race was halted after a seventh-lap pile-up, precipitated when Jason Plato tried to prise thirteenth place away from Tom Oliphant at Lodge Nook.

What tiny hole there was quickly closed, and the Energy Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra of Plato hit the rear finish of Oliphant’s West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport and spun it round.

Oliphant spun backwards throughout the observe into the trail of Chris Smiley’s Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, who hit the rear finish of the BMW closely.

Rick Parfitt Jr got here across the nook and locked up his Excelr8 Hyundai in a determined try and keep away from the stricken Oliphant, solely to plough helplessly into the BMW’s driver-side door.

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Oliphant emerged unharmed, and the WSR crew is working flat-out to restore the automotive for race two. Key to Rowbottom’s victory, which got here with 27kg of success weight in opposition to the unballasted Honda of Shedden, was his two very good begins.

Within the first, he went from fourth to second to take a seat behind Shedden, and was pursuing the Scot all through the opening seven laps.

By the point of the crimson flag, Shedden was 1.3 seconds to the nice and the race gave the impression to be in his pocket however Rowbottom was dynamite once more off the restart – “My begin felt OK,” mentioned Shedden – enabling him to get in entrance.

Shedden crawled throughout Rowbottom all through the brief dash to the chequered flag, however was unable to pressure a gap.

“’Flash’ is a little bit of a hunter, isn’t he?” mentioned Rowbottom. “It’s not a pleasant automotive to have in your mirror, however I knew with two laps to go it was my race to lose.

“To get a second stab firstly was what we wanted, as a result of I couldn’t cling with him around the again within the first half.”

Adam Morgan (Ciceley Motorsport BMW), Oulton Park BTCC 2021

Picture by: Jakob Ebrey

Whereas the Dynamics Hondas used the smooth possibility tyre, third-placed Adam Morgan stored his powder dry on the mediums on his solution to third place in his Ciceley Motorsport BMW.

From sixth on the grid, he had a superb first lap, shaking off the problem of Rory Butcher’s Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla and was third on the crimson flag earlier than he shadowed the Hondas all through the restart to finish the rostrum.

Butcher, who aside from Morgan was the one top-nine qualifier to make use of the medium tyre, completed fourth after keeping off the WSR BMW of Stephen Jelley and Laser Instruments Racing Infiniti Q50 of Aiden Moffat.

Butcher gained a reprieve on the crimson flag, as he had simply been handed for fourth by polesitter Senna Proctor’s BTC Racing Honda, however gained the place again on countback.

Proctor made a poor begin on the preliminary getaway, and likewise misplaced a hatful of locations on the primary lap of the restart.
Plato completed seventh forward of the Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus of Jake Hill, who was carrying 39kg of ballast, and Proctor, with Jack Goff finishing the highest 10 in his Crew Onerous Cupra Leon.

It was a disastrous race for the highest 4 within the championship. From the again of the grid, Tom Ingram had hauled his Excelr8 Hyundai into 14th on the grid for the restart, however misplaced out within the brief dash and completed nineteenth.

Ingram’s title hopes had taken a large increase on the opening lap when a conflict between Moffat and Colin Turkington put the four-time champion’s WSR BMW right into a spin at Cascades, whereas Moffat’s LTR Infiniti team-mate, championship chief Ash Sutton, went off in avoidance.

Sutton took the restart final, following a visit to the pits to take away grass from the radiator, however charged by to complete 14th, with Turkington 18th.

Josh {Cook}, third within the standings in his BTC Honda, was hit with a 5s penalty for an out-of-position preliminary begin, however claimed a degree for fifteenth on the restart.

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