Rowbottom confirmed earlier today that he will join Adam Morgan in the Ciceley Motorsport team – taking his Clio Cup sponsor Cataclean with him.
The Kidderminster racer won three times in 2018’s Clio Cup and was one of four drivers who had a chance of the title at Brands Hatch’s September season finale. He eventually finished fourth in the standings.
Rowbottom said: “I’m delighted to be joining the BTCC grid – it’s a long-held ambition of mine but I’ve got the Clio Cup to thank for helping me to get there.
“Without it I wouldn’t have been able to put together a sustainable commercial package for sponsors like Cataclean in the first place.
“The exposure on ITV and in front of such huge crowds means we’ve been able to build together for the move into the headlining category.
“I wouldn’t just say that the Clio Cup is the best training ground for the BTCC – it is the ONLY training ground! There is nothing else to compare to it.”
Rowbottom also believes the Clio Cup’s ultra-competitive nature will enable him to adapt quickly to BTCC machinery.
He added: “In some respects it is even closer than the BTCC because the cars are 100 per cent identical. Sometimes we’re going into corners six wide and have to learn how to deal with that sort of scenario.
“It’s why you’ve seen names like Sutton, Cook, Goff and many more do so well when they go into the BTCC.
“Plus it teaches you the art of front-wheel-drive and working with data – after almost three seasons in the Clio Cup I know these are going to be real plus points for me when I start in the BTCC.”
In 2018, 16 of the BTCC’s 30 rounds were won by drivers with past UK Clio Cup experience.
In fact three of the BTCC’s top five overall were ‘ex Clio Cup’. These were: title winner Colin Turkington, fourth-placed Ashley Sutton (2017’s BTCC champ) and fifth-placed Andrew Jordan (2013 BTCC champ).
Elsewhere 11 of the new UK TCR touring car category’s 14 races were won by former Clio Cup drivers including inaugural champion Daniel Lloyd.
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “Congratulations to Daniel Rowbottom and Cataclean who have really taken advantage of the Clio Cup’s standing to make their BTCC ambitions a reality. I am sure they will enjoy a very positive maiden season at UK motorsport’s highest level just like so many of our previous drivers have done and continue as can be seen by 2018’s results.”