HALFORDS YUASA RACING WINS AGAIN TO CLOSE UP BTCC TITLE BATTLE
In the strongest weekend of his BTCC career, Honda driver Dan Cammish scored a trio of top-four finishes, including a win, moving him up to third in the overall Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship title battle.
Halfords Yuasa Racing had high hopes for qualifying after the pair of Hondas topped the times in final practice, and Cammish delivered in style. Ignoring spots of rain, he took his Honda Civic Type R to a second successive pole position, by the largest margin of the season, with his 102.97mph lap smashing the previous Silverstone qualifying record. Matt Neal’s recent form also continued, as he secured the sixth grid spot, less than three tenths behind his team-mate.
Cammish made an excellent start to race one, out-dragging front-row rival Tom Ingram into the first corner and holding him off for the first four laps. Ingram then found a gap, as the two crossed the line side-by-side just as the safety car came out due to an incident further back in the field.
Having been ahead across the line, though by less than the width of his Honda’s front splitter, Cammish restarted in first. He was then able to edge out a gap to Ingram, scoring his and Halfords Yuasa Racing’s third victory of the season.
Neal meanwhile was caught up in a frenetic midfield battle, being half-spun by a rival at one point and dropping to tenth. The 53-year-old fought back to eighth at the flag, securing the manufacturers’ award for Honda.
Despite his car carrying maximum success ballast, Cammish again led away in race two but was passed by Ingram at the end of the opening lap. The Honda driver held off championship leader Colin Turkington for several laps before being forced down to third, which turned into a second-place finish when leader Ingram suffered a puncture with just a lap to go.
Neal also had a strong race, fighting his way up the field to finish fourth and add to a strong points haul for the Halfords Yuasa Racing team.
The reverse grid draw for the final race put Neal and Cammish into sixth and eighth starting spots and at the start, Neal initially dropped to seventh and Cammish tenth. But with six laps down Neal and rival Rory Butcher made contact and Butcher’s car was launched into a high-speed accident. He escaped unhurt but barrier damage caused the race to be red-flagged.
Cammish made an excellent restart to quickly move ahead of his team-mate into fifth. He then joined a remarkable five-car battle for the lead that lasted for the entire 12-lap restart, the Honda man finishing fourth to complete an excellent day and put himself firmly back into the title fight.
Further back in the pack, Neal was involved in another battle, completing his dramatic race in 11th spot to secure the Teams’ Award for Halfords Yuasa Racing’s performance over the weekend.
After a strong weekend the squad now heads to Croft in Yorkshire on 10/11 October, with Cammish holding a firm third place in the title race, just 17 points behind the leader.
“I believe that’s the best Touring Car weekend of my career – pole, a new lap record, first, second, fourth,” declared Cammish. “We’ve had a stellar weekend which I didn’t expect coming here as I’ve always found Silverstone a little bit tougher. But I’ve learnt from Matt, from what he can do round here, and I got the results.
“My starts were fantastic and the speed in the car was good. The team has given me such a good car all weekend, massive thanks to them.”
“A good weekend overall,” reflected Neal. “Solid points for the manufacturer, the team and Dan, which is the primary game. My day could have been better, race three was a bit of a melee, people were driving like it was the last race of the year! I let Dan go past and tried to hold Turkington at bay, but he got me two laps from home. Overall, I’m delighted with our team’s performance.”