Only two race meetings remain in the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season, with the upcoming visit to Silverstone National Circuit this weekend, 24th/25th September, an absolutely crucial one for title challengers Motorbase Performance and NAPA Racing UK.
Following on from his third win of the campaign last time out at Thruxton, memorably achieved in his 200th BTCC race, reigning champion Ash Sutton is second in the Drivers Championship ahead of the penultimate event of the year after accruing a big haul of points.
Only six points shy of current leader Colin Turkington, Sutton’s season in the No.1 Ford Focus ST is really beginning to come together and a record-equaling fourth BTCC crown is an increasing reality in his first year with NAPA Racing UK, and his first season since 2016 in a front-wheel drive car.
Team-mate Dan Cammish was finally able to cast aside the misfortune which had blighted the bulk of his season during the second visit of 2022 to Thruxton last month, and in the best way possible too with NAPA Racing UK’s maiden pole position and a superb lights-to-flag victory in race one.
In the second contest, Cammish aced the start again and was on course to make it two wins from two. But as the incredible team player he is, the three-time Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion enabled Sutton to move through on the penultimate lap to take the victory and the vital extra points for his title bid. Cammish heads to Silverstone eighth in the standings and eyeing more success.
Such was the points haul last time out in the NAPA Racing UK camp, the highest scoring team at Thruxton, the squad is second in the BTCC Teams Championship. Motorbase Performance/Ford is also second in the Manufacturers/Constructors Championship.
Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne will both be pursuing consistent points finishes at Silverstone for Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, with Jackson looking to build on the strong drive to 14th place achieved in the last of the Thruxton races and also the season-best ninth place he secured during the previous race meeting at Snetterton. He is, of course, a former BTCC race winner at Silverstone.
Osborne had an unfortunate conclusion to the Thruxton weekend, with contact on lap two pitching his Ford Focus ST into retirement. While somewhat frustrated with the event’s results, as Thruxton is one of his least favoured tracks he is now relishing the trip to Silverstone where he will be targeting a return to the outright top 15 for the first time since the BTCC first visited Thruxton back in May.
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“With two race meetings to go this is the time you have more than one eye on the championship standings. We had an outstanding weekend last time out at Thruxton, with multiple wins and podiums with both NAPA cars, and that’s put Ash right in the mix at the top end of the title fight. Hopefully we can replicate that form at Silverstone and make sure we go into Brands Hatch with a really good chance. Silverstone is always so close on times with such a short and relatively simple lap. We’ve been strong there in the past so we’re looking forward to seeing what the weekend will bring! The teamwork throughout the whole crew is very evident this year and that’s a big help when you’re in this position.”
Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“I’m looking forward to Silverstone this weekend. We’re getting down to the climax of the season now and I’m relishing what lies ahead. Three wins in as many events means we head into the weekend with some real momentum behind us, and despite Silverstone being a completely different challenge to Thruxton I’m confident we can be in the mix. The car is feeling awesome so let’s get after it and see what we can do.”
Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“I am feeling confident for Silverstone, we actually turned a corner at Snetterton but you just had to look a bit deeper. Then we turned up at Thruxton, put it on pole, won race one and had the speed to win race two. Winning a BTCC race is a huge achievement, so to give the [race two] win away like we did at Thruxton shouldn’t be underestimated. As a team we’re fighting for three titles though, so it was the right thing for me to do. It’s all about the bigger picture for NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase, not just this year but going forward. I’m excited ahead of Silverstone and looking forward to it.”
Ollie Jackson – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.48:
“Looking forward to Silverstone, traditionally the car has been strong there and I’ve usually been competitive. We’ve been getting stronger and stronger in the second half of the season as our understanding of the car builds, so hopefully this is the one where we crack it and get back up into the top 10. Quali is the key so that’s what we’re going to be focusing on. If we get lucky on the reverse grid I could bring back some silverware, or perhaps even repeat my win!”
Sam Osborne – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.77:
“I always look forward to racing, so looking forward to Silverstone! Since Thruxton I’ve spent some time on the sim, refining things, and it should be mega close in qualifying – just a couple of tenths lost and you’re way down the grid. Ash and Dan have their cars in a really good place, so we’ll try to work from their base and challenge for the top 10 – that’s always my aim. I think it’s achievable, there’s been a lot of ‘shoulda, coulda’ this season so we just have to make it all come together.”
Opening free practice for the touring cars will get underway at 09.25 on Saturday, 24th September, with the second session beginning at 12.05 ahead of qualifying at 15.05 – the latter to be streamed live at www.itv.com/btcc
On Sunday, 25th September, round 25 of the BTCC season will start at 11.40, round 26 will follow at 14.25 and round 27 will conclude the on track action at 17.10. All three races will be streamed online and screened live on ITV4.
2022 BTCC Drivers Championship
2nd Ash Sutton, 305pts; 8th Dan Cammish, 155pts; 22nd Ollie Jackson, 21pts; 25 Sam Osborne, 1pt
2022 BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship
2nd Motorbase Performance/Ford, 576pts
2022 BTCC Teams Championship
2nd NAPA Racing UK, 453pts; 13th Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, 27pts
2022 Jack Sears Trophy
4th Sam Osborne, 268pts