Cammish gets season back on track with strong Thruxton showing
Having claimed victory and sportingly handed over what could have been a second win during an impressive weekend at Thruxton (27/28 August), NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish got his season back on track, after being tormented by bad luck in the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship previously.
Kicking off the weekend with an upswing in form, thanks to hard work by the team, Cammish showed well in qualifying on Saturday. Unsure whether he had anything left, the team spurred him on in the closing stages and the Ford Focus driver produced a stunning lap to claim his and NAPA Racing UK’s first pole position of the season.
Cammish made a good start from the front on Sunday morning and, as there was a big squabble behind him for second position, he was able to build a solid lead on the opening lap. From there, he was never under any real pressure from those behind, driving a calm and comfortable race to claim a dominant lights-to-flag victory.
It was a repeat for race two, with the #9 machine getting off the line well, while team-mate Ash Sutton battled for second position behind. Sutton then started to put pressure on Cammish, though made a mistake at the chicane on lap four, which opened the gap. The 33-year-old looked comfortable throughout but moved aside on the penultimate lap to allow Sutton to take the victory, helping the team maximise its championship chances.
The Yorkshireman lined up tenth for the reverse-grid finale and had a clean opening lap, but wasn’t able to make up places in the early running. He ran a quiet race, albeit in a sandwich behind Michael Crees and ahead of Gordon Shedden and had to contend with reduced hybrid boost owing to his earlier success. Shedden managed to sneak past on the penultimate lap, with Cammish crossing the line in tenth position.
Cammish and NAPA Racing UK head to the Silverstone National circuit over the weekend of 24/25 September next, as they work to not only try to secure the best results possible but also aid team-mate Sutton in his quest for his fourth championship.
“The last time we came to Thruxton, it was my first-ever non-score in the BTCC,” reflected Cammish. “This weekend, it’s NAPA’s first pole, almost a double win, and a double podium, so we had a mega weekend. It just shows you how quickly things can change around in the BTCC.
“Qualifying was mega. We’ve been working on getting a better race car and I think we’re getting there now with that. Snetterton was really good, but you have to dig a little bit deeper than the actual results to see, but we came here knowing that we had a better chance. The team did a great job and chose the right strategy and set-up. I got my second pole at Thruxton, and I was really, really pleased.
“I got a great start to race one and led lights to flag, I never looked back. It was quite straightforward, it reminded me of the old Porsche victories it was that nice. In race two I had another fantastic start, was leading and stretched the gap a little bit to Ash, it was all in control. Ultimately, the team comes first, and Ash is right there in the championship, so the call was made to switch us over, which is the right choice. Of course, it’s hard to swallow sometimes, but this is the job and you’ve got to accept that, so if I can help him towards the championship that’s what I need to do. It’s not been my year but it’s not to say that next year won’t be, and he certainly owes me a beer.
“Race three was really tough. We’d spent all day on our own and never really got behind anyone, so we didn’t really have any set-up data for what happens when you’re in the dirty air and I had a car that was very hard to drive when I was behind people. It was always about trying to bring home a sensible position. P10 wasn’t ideal, but there are a few people who had it more difficult today. Of course, I would like to go forward a bit more but to be honest with the experience we had of running in the traffic, it was always going to be a tough ask to find a magic setup.”