Thruxton BTCC: Cammish recovers from off to take pole

Honda’s Dan Cammish bounced back from an early mistake to take pole position for the British Touring Car Championship round at Thruxton.

Cammish ran wide at Allard on his first push lap, filling the radiator with grass and necessitating a pitstop. He returned to the track to put himself in the top four just after the midway point of the session, then went on another run in his Team Dynamics-run Civic Type R, improving by half a second to take pole with nine minutes remaining.

It was only the second pole of his BTCC career for Cammish, who ended up 0.092 seconds clear of the Toyota of Tom Ingram.  

“It was a fine example of bravery surpassing talent,” said Cammish of his early error. “You want to get one hot lap in on each set [of tyres], and I thought it would stick but found out if definitely didn’t stick.”

Cammish, who is carrying 36kg of success ballast, took it easier at Allard for the remainder of the session, but more than made up enough time over the rest of the lap to take pole: “I’m happy to have made a mess and recovered it. It’s great for the team, because we deserved it really – we’ve been fastest all day, and it would have been a shame not to make it stick.”

Ingram had identified after the first four rounds of the season that qualifying has been costing him, but put that right to plant his Speedworks Motorsport-run Corolla on the front row with a spectacular lap that included kicking up the dust at Church Corner. It put the Toyota – carrying 30kg of ballast – briefly onto pole before Ingram was demoted by Cammish.

Making it a good day for Dynamics, the team’s three-time champion Matt Neal put in his best qualifying performance of the season to take third. The 53-year-old went quickest in his unballasted car just after the midway point, before Ingram and then Cammish went faster still.

Adam Morgan put in a late improvement to take fourth in his Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class, and knock the AmD-run MB Motorsport Honda of Jake Hill down to the third row. Hill will start alongside Rory Butcher, who moved forward significantly from free practice, where Motorbase Performance’s new fourth-generation Ford Focus was struggling as the team had never run the car on the hard-compound Goodyear tyres before.

Tom Chilton grabbed seventh in his BTC Racing Honda from championship leader Colin Turkington, who is carrying the maximum 60kg of ballast on his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport. Two more BTC Racing Civics make it six Hondas in the top 10, with Michael Crees shading team-mate Jake Cook on the fifth row – Cook suffered a misfire, plus an early off at Noble while avoiding a spinning car.

Lurking on the sixth row are two of the leading four in the championship – Ash Sutton is 11th in the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti, on 54kg of ballast, with Tom Oliphant 12th in the second BMW, on 42kg.


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