Dan Cammish and Ash Sutton delivered a dream set of results for NAPA Racing UK at ultra-fast Thruxton over the weekend, 27th/28th August, with a race victory apiece and combined total of four podiums as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship enters the business end of the season.
Over the course of a fabulous couple of days in Hampshire for the Motorbase Performance-run team, Cammish finally achieved his long-awaited first win of the season, and in some style too, with a faultless lights-to-flag drive in round 22 at the wheel of the No.9 Ford Focus ST.
Converting his superb race one pole position, NAPA Racing UK’s first in the BTCC, into a textbook win, Cammish was on course to do the double in round 23 but played the perfect team game in allowing title contender Sutton – who also had fastest lap – to go through on the penultimate tour.
Sutton, who ensured a NAPA Racing UK podium double in race one with third place after an action packed first few corners where he was momentarily second having started fourth, duly took his third victory of the campaign in his landmark 200th BTCC race in the second contest. With team player Cammish following home in second, it marked the first one-two for NAPA Racing UK in the BTCC.
In round 24, Sutton charged through expertly from 11th on the grid to finish in fifth position and wasn’t all that far away from another podium. Cammish started in 10th place and did rise into ninth, but was edged back to 10th late on.
With just two race meetings remaining this season, at Silverstone National Circuit and Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, reigning champion Sutton is second in the championship and just six points shy of leader Colin Turkington. Cammish’s best weekend of the season has elevated him into the top eight.
In the BTCC Teams Championship, NAPA Racing UK is back into second place after Thruxton and only four points shy of the top of the table. Motorbase Performance/Ford is also second in the BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship.
It was a mixed weekend for the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan drivers, although Ollie Jackson did chalk-up more points with a competitive drive to 14th place in an action-packed round 24. Raceday began with Jackson 24th on the grid for round 22, after his best lap time in qualifying was debatably disallowed, and he made good early progress before finishing in a strong 18th position.
In race two, Jackson was in the thick of the action again and especially during the latter stages where he was embroiled in a very close battle with Jason Plato. He looked on course for potential points but had to settle for 17th after some contact. Aiming for more in round 24, he delivered with a great drive to 14th position – including a quality move on Aiden Moffat into the fearsome Church corner.
Team-mate Sam Osborne started off with 23rd place in round 22, an improvement of two positions on his starting slot. Moving up the order early on and progressing towards the top 20, Osborne lost out in a multi-car melee on lap 10 and ultimately ended the race in 23rd position.
In round 23 the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan racer chalked-up a top 20 finish after steadily working his way up the order but round 24 came to an early conclusion on only the second tour, after he was the helpless victim of contact into the complex which ruled him out on the spot.
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“What a weekend! It’s been coming and this weekend it all came together. Highest scoring two drivers, team and manufacturer of the weekend, it doesn’t get much better than that! Dan has been exceptional all weekend and was rewarded with pole and his first win, he was unbeatable. It was also a fantastic weekend for Ash, a win, podium and top five in the reverse grid race has him right up there in the championship as we get closer to the decider. For my role in the team it’s essential to have a team and, in particular, drivers who are the whole package – they’re rarer than you might think. This weekend proved to me more than ever, I have the best in the pitlane!”
Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“If you need a teammate Dan [Cammish] is the man for that. He’s shown that he’s supporting the campaign and what we’re trying to do as an outfit and hopefully soon I can repay the favour. We got the fastest lap in at the start, I let Dan get some air, and then I tried to focus on getting a mix going on behind me. When [Gordon] Shedden and [Jake] Hill started battling I thought ‘right, let’s crack on’ and then the call came to switch positions.”
Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“To finally take our first win of the season, and to do it in the manner we did from pole, is fantastic and especially after such a long time coming – it’s a great reward for everyone who has kept the faith. We took an amazing pole in qualifying, the first for NAPA Racing UK, and it was a great start to race one which I was really happy about. In race two, it was all about what was best for the team and for the championship. I did everything right, it would’ve been two wins from two, but at the end of the day it’s a team game and it was the right choice to make.”
Ollie Jackson – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.48:
“We had a bit of a nightmare with qualifying, our best lap was disallowed – which really shouldn’t have been – and that altered the course of the weekend as we started further back than we should have. We struggled to find a balance, we only really got there for race three, but we still made some progress and then came away with a couple of points from a good final race. Thruxton isn’t my best track, so to still come away with some decent finishes is pretty pleasing.”
Sam Osborne – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.77:
“I didn’t qualify very well, unfortunately, and that set the tone for the weekend really. We didn’t race too badly in the first two, then in race three I got tangled up in someone else’s mess. Two cars a fair way behind me going into the complex tangled, there was nowhere I could go because of cars in front of me, and my right-rear got hit which caused a lot of damage and that was game over. It’s a shame it ended that way, onwards and upwards now for Silverstone.”
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the BTCC season, the penultimate race meeting of the campaign, will take place at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire over the weekend 24th/25th September.
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