Dan Cammish takes wet Brands Hatch BTCC pole for NAPA Racing

Dan Cammish takes wet Brands Hatch BTCC pole for NAPA Racing

NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish produced one of the best laps of his impressive career so far to grab pole position in the final seconds of Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship qualifying at Brands Hatch earlier yesterday (6 May).

The leading four cars were separated by just 0.070s as the clock ticked down during the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ before Cammish crossed the line and blew his rivals away by over a quarter of a second.

It was looking like a BMW one-two prior to Cammish’s effort but Team BMW’s Colin Turkington and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill eventually had to settle for second and third on the grid for Sunday’s opener.

Ash Sutton was fourth for NAPA Racing UK, ahead of the Toyota of Rory Butcher.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Butcher experienced a topsy turvy qualifying session, which included several off-track excursions and some stellar lap times in-between.

The Scotsman held his nerve until the final moments as he fired his Corolla up to fifth at the finish.

Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils enjoyed a great afternoon with Bobby Thompson and Dan Lloyd making the showdown in 6th and 9th respectively, whilst Team HARD stablemate Jack Butel produced a career-best 13th.

BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 also had two cars inside the top ten but could only manage seventh and tenth with Tom Ingram and Ronan Pearson.

Josh Cook’s session ended with a spin, but the Bath racer had still done enough to secure eighth on the grid.

The initial 30-minute period was truncated and frenetic with no fewer than three red flag interruptions. 

Incidents involving Nick Halstead (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8), Nic Hamilton (Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown), Adam Morgan (Team BMW) and Will Powell (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) ensured there was a real battle to make the top ten positions in the closing stages.

Hill topped the times with a late flyer, ahead of Sutton and Turkington, but the main drama was Butcher squeezing into contention with his final lap.

Butcher’s effort relegated Donington Park race winner Tom Chilton out of the showdown, as he was pipped by his young BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 team-mate Pearson by an incredible 0.001s.

Rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit Sunday with the entire race day being screened LIVE on ITV4 and ITVX from 1115.

Dan Cammish said: “Even I was a bit shocked when I saw the time when I came across the line. What a difficult session for everyone. I mean, I don’t know how long we have been in the cars – it feels like a lifetime! The red flags and watching the time tick away, you just constantly come in and ask are we safe, are we not, what is the cut-off point, what do we think? You never feel safe when the track changes so much. So we kept working and we kept thinking about the track coming to us, and the car coming to us.

“We aborted a lap to come down the pitlane and put a fresh set of fronts on and it was the right call – bit of gut, bit of luck! Then it was just a switch where we found the grip we had been looking for. It was amazing. I’m a little bit taken aback by that one. You always believe in yourself but what a start to the season.”

Colin Turkington said: “It’s a great result for Team BMW, going into those conditions you could either be in pole or in 15th. It’s so difficult to be in the right place with the car, because the level of wetness is changing so much. Then you start to get some standing water on the track and the car becomes undriveable, then in a few laps it's cleaned up again. So I think it’s just trying to keep it on the island – which I didn’t do! 

“Pushing hard but I was pleased with my performance in both sessions. We were ringing the neck and taking a few risks but that’s what it is all about.  It was just about having those moments in the right place. You don’t want to be having a big moment on the way to Paddock. All credit to the team and the engineers, we’ve got the BMW in such a sweet spot today in these conditions but it’s all change tomorrow, so we’ll start again!”

Jake Hill said: “We didn’t go off but it was sketchy though, I mean that was really really difficult. In the first Quali there were so many puddles and trying to get the sweet spot was really crucial. We ended Q1 P1, which was fantastic. Then to finish third – I’m really pleased. 

“The car came to me massively towards the end of Q1, which is why we managed to go so much faster. The start of Q2 was very much the same but at the end of Q2 it was very difficult. But I am really pleased. P3, good job.”

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Brands Hatch Indy

1. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK 54.297s
2. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.271s
3. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.277s 
4. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.341s
5. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.412s
6. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils  +0.505s
7. Tom Ingram , BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.667s
8. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.688s 
9. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.759s

11. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.604s 
12. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.702s 
13. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +0.720s
14. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.813s
15. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +0.817s 
16. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.853s
17. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.959s 
18. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.979s 
19. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.031s
20. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.043s
21. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.106s
22. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing 1.384s
23. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1.751s
24. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +2.417
25. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +2.798
26. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +3.275
27. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +3.721s

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