CAMMISH SEALS SEASON OPENING DOUBLE
Dan Cammish completed a memorable opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race weekend by scoring a season opening double at Donington Park.
The NAPA Racing UK star claimed a lights-to-flag triumph in the finale at the famous Leicestershire circuit while the action kicked off behind him.
Team-mate Dan Rowbottom bogged down off the line from the front row of the grid as a gaggle of cars swarmed all over the Ford Focus on the run down to Redgate for the first time.
Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) held on well in the early stages before being shuffled down to sixth, but it was the quartet scrapping for second that provided the best entertainment.
With Cammish off into the distance it left Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) to fend off Colin Turkington (Team BMW), Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK) and Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) for the other podium positions, and the reigning champion defended expertly.
Sutton eventually attacked Turkington for third in the closing stages and squeezed through at Mcleans, whilst Hill followed suit at the final chicane – albeit following slight contact with his BMW stablemate.
Cammish crossed the line for his second victory of the day while Sutton sent his car forcefully down the inside of Ingram’s #1 Hyundai in a last gasp attempt for second.
Ingram held on while Sutton pipped Hill by just 0.113s to complete the podium.
Turkington had to settle for fifth ahead of the impressive Thompson, whilst Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) and race two winner Tom Chilton (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) were next in the order.
Aron Taylor-Smith claimed ninth after a late pass by Rowbottom, who was seemingly struggled for overall race pace for much of the day.
Dan Cammish said: “12 months on from a bit of a shocker, to bounce back with two wins is brilliant. Race 2 was interesting with slicks in the rain – we had a chance but we had to make a call and I realised I was in a bad place when people pitted under the Safety Car. I think I was so focused on that race win and should have switched to think about the reverse grid. I’ve had such a stroke of luck, and I’m sorry for Ronan for what happened in race 2, he had such a great race and I’m sure it failed by very little. His loss was my gain and sometimes you need a bit of luck.
“The key is that last year I had a car that I couldn’t move forward with. If that was last year I would have come back out at 17 and I’ve have finished 16th. But this year I have a car that helps me move forward. But to qualify 13th – then 12th – for the reverse grid wasn’t just luck, I needed the performance to do that.
“Really proud of all the guys at NAPA and what a day! Over the moon. First weekend as a married man and two wins – it’s been great!”
Tom Ingram said: “I just been stood in the holding area, looking at the difference in cars. We’ve got Dans [Cammish] car that looks pristine and not a single drop of mud on it, and then all the rest of our cars caked in mud. It kind of tells the story of how the race was! It was a good result for us, obviously difficult with Colin [Turkington] just being faster and Ash [Sutton] being faster. It was just playing a game of chess. Just trying to hold some, give some, stop it, let it go, you’re constantly playing chess.
“I think we’ve done a good job to stay pointsy all the way through and stay out of trouble. A great result for Tom and for Ronan – awful what happened – but still a great result for the whole team. A good place to go into the next race.”
Ash Sutton said: “A what could have been weekend that is for sure. Look, to come from 15,16 – whatever it was – to third on the podium, I couldn’t have asked for much more. Obviously Dan [Cammish] had a nice sensible run. I tried to get Tom in the last chicane but we still got some good points under our belt and that’s what we needed.
“I wanted to bring a first place home to him [my newborn son], but didn’t quite do that. I hope he is not too disappointed. A third will do to start with!”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race Three – Donington Park
1. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK 21 Laps
2. Tom Ingram , BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +3.044s
3. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +3.771s
4. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +3.884s
5. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +4.683s
6. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +12.615s
7.Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +14.883s
8. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +15.964s
9. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +16.192s
10. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +17.196s
11. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +17.309s
12. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +18.080s
13. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK 20.757s
14. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +24.005s
15. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +25.906s
16. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +26.183s
17. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +26.473s
18. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +28.684s
19. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +29.396s
20. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +34.562s
21. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +48.236s
22. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +1 Lap
23. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing DNF
24. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD DNF
25. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing DNF
26. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK DNF
27. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 DNF