‘REAR GUNNER’ CAMMISH TOPS FP1 AT BRANDS HATCH
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish set the pace in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship free practice session at Brands Hatch with a last gasp effort amid greasy conditions.
The season finale weekend commenced under a glorious autumnal sunshine, although the early morning damp made for a slow start to proceedings on track.
As times tumbled in the latter stages it was Cammish that topped the session from Silverstone race winners Tom Ingram (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com) and Rory Butcher (Toyota GAZOO Racing UK).
Cammish is no stranger to the dramas of a BTCC season finale of course, having endured heartbreak in the closing moments of the 2019 campaign while on the verge of winning a maiden title.
This weekend, however, Cammish may have to play a slightly different role as he bids to assist team-mate Ash Sutton in his quest to win a record-equalling fourth crown.
“It was honestly a heart-breaking moment for myself, my family, my friends and all the team at Dynamics that worked so hard,” recalls Cammish looking back at the 2019 finale.
“Ultimately it wasn’t meant to be, but we gave it a good fight. I’ve only ever suffered one brake failure in the whole of my career, and it happened within sight of home. I can’t change it, I wish I could, but there’s no rhyme or reason – it was just a failure. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I’m still here.
“Maybe if I’d had that title under my belt, there wouldn’t be the same need to prove or to set it right. It’s amazing how having one [championship] under your belt kind of settles you down. It’s kind of a box ticked. You’ve worked your whole career to get that moment and then it was snatched away. It was a big shame, but the guys at Motorbase and NAPA Racing UK are going to give me every opportunity next year I’ve got no doubt, so I’ve got more opportunities coming my way and one of them I’ll certainly seize.
“As a team we work as one, it’s very open across the whole Motorbase team, all four cars. We’ve got some really good people here and not just drivers. In terms of engineering and mechanically, we’re very strong. The car at times hasn’t been exactly where we’ve wanted it, for myself or Ash [Sutton].
“Ash has done an amazing job, I take my hat off to him for what he’s done already this season. I’ve had some tough moments, certainly, starting out with the fire but these last few rounds we’ve come on strong and it’s sort of coincided that as I’ve come on strong, I started to play this support role. And when you look at it, me and Ash are maybe the only two true team-mates out there. We’re dressed the same, the car’s the same and we race for NAPA as one, no one else can really say that. We both know where we’re going to be next year. So I think it’s important for myself and the team that I’m up there at the front, I can get in and amongst it and I’ll help Ash out when it matters.”
Title contenders Sutton and Team BMW’s Colin Turkington were fifth and sixth respectively on the FP1 timesheets, wedged between the Halfords Racing with Cataclean duo of Gordon Shedden and Daniel Rowbottom.
Adam Morgan (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport), Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero) and Dexter Patterson (Laser Tools Racing) completed the top ten positions.
Jake Hill was the only notable contender that failed to trouble the leading times, but with track conditions improving and the serious business to follow later this afternoon this session wasn’t necessarily representative of the likely order in qualifying.
Free Practice 2 commences at 1205, before the most important qualifying session of the season takes place at 1540.
An added bonus today is that ITV will be streaming the full afternoon programme live via www.itv.com/btcc with races from Porsche, MINI, Ginetta and British F4 also included, alongside BTCC qualifying.
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Brands Hatch GP
1. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK 1:31.418s
2. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.019s
3. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.123s
4. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.395s
5. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.398s
6. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.618s
7. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.769s
8. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.790s
9. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.794s
10. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.921s
11. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.952s
12. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.984s
13. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +01.003s
14. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.015s
15. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.063s
16. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.160s
17. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +1.201s
18. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.208s
19. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.559s
20. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +1.642s
21. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +2.152s
22. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +3.847s
23. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +3.356s
24. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +4.115s
25. Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +6.197s
26. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +8.182s
27. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.867s
28. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing NO TIME