April 29, 2024

NAPA Racing enjoyed a strong start to the new Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season with a podium hat-trick at Donington Park, alongside a memorable race victory in the opening rounds of the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE.

The four-strong BTCC line-up of defending champion Ash Sutton, Dan Cammish, Dan Rowbottom and Sam Osborne were keen to make the most of the undoubted pace of the Alliance Racing-run Ford Focus ST, which had proven to be the class of the field in 2023 as Sutton stormed to the title.


Although not the quickest car in practice, Cammish, Rowbottom and Sutton would all lap within the top ten and were widely expected to be in the mix for top spot in qualifying later on Saturday – although it would end with mixed results.

Making it through to the final stage of the new three-part qualifying session in mixed weather conditions, Sutton just missed out on putting the #1 car on pole as the leading NAPA Racing entry.

It was a more difficult session for the other three cars however, with Osborne falling in Q2 to sit eleventh, and Rowbottom and Cammish down in 14th and 17th on the grid after being forced to run in the Q1 group impacted by a rapidly drying circuit after rain showers.


Racing on Sunday would be delayed by poor weather, with the action only beginning after lunch across a condensed schedule with the first race run in tricky wet conditions.

Osborne would fall victim to the conditions with a dramatic spin into the barriers going down the Craner Curves on lap one, which resulted in a lengthy safety car period before the action got underway in earnest. Sutton would race to a solid second place to secure the first podium finish of the year for the team, with Cammish showing the pace of the Focus to fight his way through into eighth.

Rowbottom was also fighting his way towards the top ten before he was forced to pit after the bonnet on his car came lose, ultimately leading to his retirement late on.

Slipping to third at the start of race one behind a fast-starting BMW, Sutton battled his way back ahead of Jake Hill late on to equal his result from the earlier race, whilst Cammish continued his recovery from qualifying as he fought his way up into the top six.

Whilst Osborne was unable to take the start as the team worked to repair his damaged car, Rowbottom stormed from the back of the grid to take tenth, setting the second-fastest lap of the race in the process.

Sutton completed a podium hat-trick in race three with a typically attacking run through to third place, with Rowbottom recovering from contact with the Toyota of Andrew Watson on lap two – which dropped him down to 18th spot – to fight his way back through to eighth.

Cammish lost places when the lights went out when his car bogged down off the line but would recover to take tenth, with Osborne grabbing the final point after the team worked hard to get him back out on track to contest the finale.

At the end of the weekend, Sutton sits second in the standings – nine points off top spot – as the lead NAPA Racing runner, with the team sitting top of the Teams’ Championship ahead of the next meeting at Brands Hatch.


Donington Park also marked the first outing of the season for NAPA Racing’s three-car assault on the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE, with two cars running in the JCW class for Jamie Osborne and Lewis Selby, and a single entry into JCW Sport for Cameron Richardson.

Saturday’s qualifying session would set the grid for the first and last races of the weekend, with Jamie setting the sixth quickest time and Lewis going eleventh fastest as second best of the Directors Cup entrants. In JCW Sport, Cam secured third spot on the grid, only missing out on the front row by 0.071s.

After a brief caution early on in race one, all three drivers had made up ground when the action was halted after an incident involving the car of Albert Webster – with Jamie climbing up into third spot, Lewis sitting in seventh and Cam third in class and 14th overall.

Taking the restart from the same positions, Jamie ran in third throughout as he diced with Ant Whorton-Eales and Dan Zelos for victory before crossing the line in P3, just a tenth of a second away from the win.

Lewis jumped ahead of Dominic Wheatley on the first lap to run in sixth and would secure the first Directors Cup win of the year, with Cam taking the first ever win in JCW Sport after a last lap move on Dylan Hotchin for the class victory.

The second race would fall victim to the weather conditions, with the cars heading out for race three on wet tyres only for Lewis to gamble on a switch to slicks after the first green flag lap.

It would prove to be an inspired choice as he stormed through the field from back-to-front, at one stage lapping more than four seconds a lap quicker than anyone as he scored victory by the biggest margin in JCW history.

Jamie would battle against his fading wet tyres to score sixth, with Cam battling for the lead in JCW Sport before a mid-race moment dropped him back to third, where he would finish.

Lewis ends the first weekend sitting second overall and top of the Directors Cup, with Jamie in fourth, whilst Cam is a narrow second in the JCW Sport class.

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