CAMMISH WINS CURTAIN RAISER AS RIVALS HIT TROUBLE
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish overhauled long-time race leader Jake Hill to win the opening round of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park, whilst a number of other big hitters found trouble.
Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK), Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) were all handicapped by separate incidents, with the first of those happening immediately off the line.
Pole-sitter Dan Rowbottom made a sluggish start, with both Hill and Sutton immediately eyeing an opportunity to surge into the lead.
Hill went in-between both Ford Focuses and as Sutton moved across there was slight contact involving the three cars. Sutton’s #116 machine was fired onto the grass and he subsequently crawled into retirement with water pouring from his car.
The Laser Tools Racing-backed BMW of Hill took the lead ahead of Cammish, Tom Ingram’s BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 Hyundai and the recovering Rowbottom, whilst Team BMW’s Turkington was running through the gravel as things bulked up behind later in the lap.
A brief safety car period reset the action but it was soon Cook’s turn to run off track as he went straight on at Redgate with cold tyres and a greasy surface causing problems throughout the order.
The contest eventually settled down with the battle for the lead and a surging Andrew Watson fast becoming the story of the race.
CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Watson had already made his way up to sixth by mid-distance of his BTCC debut and then he cooly disposed of both Ricky Collard’s Toyota and Rowbottom’s Ford to grab fourth in the latter stages.
He hounded down the top three, who were already having their own scrap for victory, which eventually went to Cammish as he went side-by-side with Hill through the Craner Curves at high speed on lap 19 of 21.
Ingram settled for third as he defended from Watson, with Rowbottom and Collard completing the top six.
Adam Morgan (Team BMW) and George Gamble (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) were seventh and eight respectively, whilst Cook fought his way back to ninth in the #66 One Motorsport with Starline Racing Honda.
Árón Taylor-Smith claimed a top ten result, rounding out an impressive opener for CarStore Power Maxed Racing.
Dan Cammish said, “Big smile! Yesterday did not go exactly to plan – I was happy with P5, but also a bit conscious that maybe it wasn’t the best we could have had. I did have a gut feeling that the car would be better on the Sunday, as that’s what we’ve been working towards.
“Once we passed Jake [Hill], we showed that we could get up the road really. It was just a matter of biding my time. Tom [Ingram] was quick but he wasn’t really pressuring me too much when I put the lap together, and Jake was just fighting the whole time. As i’ve said, I don’t think there is anyone who can drive a rear-wheel drive like Jake under those conditions. He has all that experience of Goodwood etc. and you can see it.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race One – Donington Park
1. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK, 21 laps
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +2.114s
3. Tom Ingram , BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.207s
4. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +2.614s
5. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +6.350s
6. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +9.057s
7. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +13.907s
8. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +14.057s
9. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +14.283s
10. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +14.691s
11. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +15.307s
12. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +15.997s
13. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +17.774s
14. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +21.655s
15. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +22.238s
16. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +23.285s
17. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +23.990s
18. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +24.523s
19. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils + 24.823s
20. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +31.804s
21. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +37.492s
22. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +45.255s
23. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +46.757s
24. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 DNF
25. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 DNF
26. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK DNF
27. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD DNS