CAMMISH IN CONTROL TO WIN OPENING CONTEST AT CROFT
NAPA Racing UK converted its commanding qualifying form into a dominant 1-2-3 in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship contest at Croft, as Dan Cammish claimed victory ahead of Ash Sutton and Dan Rowbottom.
It was status quo for much of the 15 laps although Sutton and Rowbottom did have an early skirmish for second, with the former choosing to run the medium Goodyear tyre compound while his team-mates ran the quicker soft option.
Rowbottom eventually played the team game, however, as he let Sutton through to take second on the final lap.
There was no stopping the pride of Yorkshire at the front as Cammish cruised to his third victory of the season to ignite his own championship challenge.
Josh Cook produced a brilliant defensive drive as he also ran the medium Goodyear tyres on his One Motorsport with Starline Racing Honda, keeping a trio of title contenders behind him to take fourth.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was shuffled down to seventh after Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) and Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) got the better of the four-time champion during the early laps.
Stephen Jelley had a relatively lonely 250th BTCC race as the Team BMW man claimed eighth, ahead of the charging Sam Osborne in the fourth NAPA Racing UK Ford, whilst CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Aron Taylor-Smith completed the top ten.
Taylor-Smith straight-lined the chicane on the opening lap and lost out to a number of rivals in the early battles, but the Irishman fought back well to score some valuable championship points.
The action is live on ITV4 throughout the day with Race 2 to come at 1435 and the finale to follow at 1700.
Dan Cammish said: “What a result for NAPA! It’s fantastic to get a 1-2-3 for the first time in Qualifying for us yesterday. It’s great being at the front but you can also get it very wrong if you are not careful.
“In an ideal world you can orchestrate it within an inch of its life but you are ultimately going in at turn one not knowing what is coming – there are also lots of guys behind who are not in our plan. I’m glad we came out the other side and obviously went off into the race. It’s just brilliant for NAPA.
“For myself to win at my home circuit, my first ever win at Croft in a touring car, so very pleased with that. One down and two to come!”
Ash Sutton said: “I’ll be honest, my engineer Tony wanted to make a couple changes mid-session in qualifying, and I was stubborn and said ‘no let me try and sort it’. But I was proven wrong, we left a bit on the table and overnight we made those changes and it paid off!
“Car was really strong, mega performance from the car. Getting the fastest lap point was critical as well. A good start to the day.”
Dan Rowbottom said: “We had a couple issues at the start, and if I had gotten onto the back of Dan [Cammish] then for sure, we would have pushed through. But it was quite clear on lap six or seven that it wasn’t going to happen. I just kept [Ash Sutton] in my mirrors – he was quicker than I wanted him to be on the mediums if i’m honest!
“It’s great for NAPA Racing UK. That’s been coming all year I think, so to get a 1-2-3 is a fantastic way to start the second half of the season.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Croft
1. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK 15 Laps
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.717s
3. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +1.327s
4. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +5.522s
5. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +5.907s
6. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +7.124s
7. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +7.403s
8. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +10.482s
9. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +26.129s
10. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +28.734s
11. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +29.179s
12. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +29.862s
13. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +31.888s
14. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +32.482s
15. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +32.753s
16. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +32.975s
17. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +34.115s
18. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +34.704s
19. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +35.145s
20. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +37.502s
21. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +39.896s
22. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +44.539s
23. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +45.972s
24. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1 Lap
25. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +2 Laps
26. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +3 Laps