MOTORBASE AND NAPA RACING UK ADD TO SILVERWARE IN KENT
Dan Cammish got his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign back on track at a wet Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on Sunday (15 May) after racing to a brace of podium finishes in his NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST.
Taking his first podium result with the Motorbase Performance-run squad in a damp fourth round, Cammish – who had qualified eighth-fastest and just 0.2 seconds shy of pole – finished in a terrific third place.
Going one better in a slippery second contest, the 33-year-old raced to P2 before wrapping up the weekend with another top ten finish in the finale.
Ash Sutton overturned a tough qualifying session to secure a great haul of points on race day, maintaining third in the championship, after storming through from 18th on the grid to finish an impressive ninth in race one.
The reigning champion then moved through from ninth to fourth place in the second contest, another very strong drive, and then took sixth in round six to round out a positive race day.
Ollie Jackson achieved a pair of points results with 14th in race two, having started 23rd on the grid following his round four result, before bettering it and securing a season-best result for the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan entry with a very competitive top 12 finish in the closing contest.
In the sister Ford Focus, Sam Osborne took the flag in race one just behind Jackson in 24th and improved in race two with a top 20 finish. Racing well in the third encounter, Osborne was into 18th by lap seven, reclaiming the place at the flag after some mid-race position shuffling.
“What a weekend!” said Team Manager Oly Collins, “After a difficult qualifying session, the team worked wonders to make the cars as competitive as we were all day on Sunday. I’m especially pleased for Dan, in tricky conditions, he had a fantastic day moving forward from his grid spot in every race and was so close to the win in race two.”
“I was really pleased with race one,” added Cammish. “It was a tough old race – seeing how it ebbed and flowed – and it’s about the third time I’ve been at Brands Indy where conditions are flipping on a coin. We had more dry bias in the car, and it just got better and better. It was a similar story in race two, three-quarters of the race we were hanging in there and suddenly my car switched on. It really was like a switch flicked, with one more lap I think that could’ve been my win. It’s fantastic to get two podiums and some points on the board for my championship, this is the start of my season.”
“Considering where we were after qualifying on Saturday, I’m pretty happy to come away with three top-ten finishes and still sitting third in the championship,” admitted Sutton. “I’d say we were helped a little bit by the weather on Sunday, but the car certainly felt better, and I was able to make progress in all three races. Next, we’re off to Thruxton and I’m looking forward to seeing how we get on there. I think the hybrid deployment and its impact will be quite interesting. The car should be strong there – it certainly was at the Season Launch – so I’m confident we can get amongst it.”
“It’s good to get some points this weekend,” said Jackson. “To be fair, the biggest problem we had was we went the wrong way with the set-up in qualifying and for race one. I switched closer to Dan’s set-up for race two, as that obviously worked, and it was much better. The track conditions were pretty consistent lap to lap in each race really, the resurfaced area of track was a lot grippier but it didn’t seem like anybody’s car worked on both. Some were stronger on the newer bits, some on the older parts.”
“The conditions were tough, it’s been a tough weekend overall, to be honest,” confessed Osborne. “As the track gripped up, we kind of started losing the front, that’s something we’ve been struggling with, and so we haven’t been able to get the power down. It’s been a tricky weekend so we’ll have to regroup now and have a think on how we can move forward, I know the guys in the team will put us in the right direction.”
Hampshire’s Thruxton Circuit will host the BTCC in little over a week (28/29 May), with the race day action returning to ITV4 throughout Sunday.