CAMMISH ‘KEEPING HEAD UP’ AFTER TRYING KNOCKHILL WEEKEND
Dan Cammish salvaged a pair of top-nine finishes on a tough visit to Knockhill last weekend (30/31 July) as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s summer break came to an end.
Contending with an up-and-down season where he has struggled to find the level of consistency that propelled him to a record three Porsche Carrera Cup GB championships as well as coming within a lap of the BTCC title, the NAPA Racing UK driver has been working hard with the team to improve results.
Finishing tenth-quickest in qualifying, though disappointed not to be further forward, the Yorkshireman was left with the chance to bank some good point-scoring finishes at a circuit on which he has enjoyed success in the past.
Cammish made a good start to race one, moving up to run eighth, but then started to struggle for pace. Local racer Gordon Shedden managed to find a way past the #9 machine, meaning he crossed the line ninth.
Moving forwards again in race two, Cammish climbed up to sixth in the opening laps, getting past George Gamble out of the chicane and then closed in on the pack ahead as Stephen Jelley started to hold drivers up. From then on it was a similar story to the earlier contest, as his pace dropped off and he was passed, finishing ninth once more.
Making a big change to the car’s set-up for the final race, he was hopeful of some improvements and gaining an understanding of where he and the team might make positive changes going forward. He was unlucky when Tom Ingram went off at McIntyre, forcing Shedden wide in the process and, as the Scot re-joined the circuit and tried to move to stop anyone else getting past, contact with Cammish in the process put him out of the contest on the spot.
Cammish and NAPA Racing UK return to action in a couple of weeks’ time, as the BTCC heads to Snetterton in Norfolk (13/14 August). Having run well during the recent Goodyear tyre test, hopes are high for a bounce-back performance and a strong end to the season.
“It’s been a pretty poor weekend,” admitted Cammish. “We qualified tenth and I didn’t have much more in it, maybe I could have been seventh and then I finished ninth in two races with very little pace to show. Our one-lap pace is pretty strong comparatively, but we’re not quite there compared with the rest of the field, as we have been for a long time. We don’t have a handle on getting the best out of this car for me at the moment and, unfortunately, we keep trying, and we keep coming up with no results and no speed to show for it. All I can do is keep my head up and keep trying, but it’s not going my way at the moment, which is tough.
“We’re just constantly in a bit of a battle. The accident in the last race was totally unavoidable from my side. I can only steer as far away from someone as I possibly can. The closing speed was too great, I don’t know how Gordon ended up where he did or what happened before, but I came around the corner unsighted and I just hit him side on, and it just destroyed the car and almost rolled me over. From my side, it was completely unavoidable and put me out on the spot.
“I had such a nice run through and that was my undoing. When I got there, I was almost carrying too much speed and had I been slowed up in the pack, I would have more time, but I couldn’t get away from him and it was like ‘is he coming back?’ To me, it looked like he was coming right to stop people coming past or he was coming back off the gravel. It was disappointing because we changed the car a lot and it would have been nice to know if that was the direction that we should have gone all along because we need answers and when you’re not on the track, you aren’t going to get those answers.”