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Qualifying report
BTCC Brands Hatch

BTCC Brands Hatch: Cammish secures stunning pole from Turkington

British Touring Car Championship leader Dan Cammish added an extra point to his advantage thanks to a stunning pole position for the second round at Brands Hatch.

Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

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As the seconds ticked down in a soggy top-10 Q2 shootout, it appeared that Colin Turkington would secure pole position in his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport.

Turkington’s team-mate Jake Hill was first to flash across the line at the chequered flag, and recorded a time to propel himself onto the front row just 0.006 seconds adrift.

But Cammish, who had pitted for a new set of front tyres, was on an absolute stonker in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST – the Yorkshireman was last across the line after the flag, and demolished Turkington’s time by 0.271s.

That came despite Cammish, as championship leader, carrying the biggest restriction on usage of the hybrid power boost – he was allowed one second per lap deployed at a minimum speed of 135km/h, compared to Turkington on 11s/125km/h and Hill on 5s/135km/h.

“I was a little bit shocked when I crossed the finish line,” said Cammish.

“We kept thinking about the track and the conditions, and we aborted our previous lap to fit the fresh set of fronts.

“It was a bit of luck, but then again it was ‘here’s the switch you’ve been asking for’. With the car I’ve got underneath me, I feel anything’s possible.”

With a strong lap time underneath him early on, Cammish’s team-mate Ash Sutton sat out large swathes of the red-flag-infested Q1, but had to take to the track late on to cement his place in the top 10.

But despite having the full 15s of hybrid available at a minimum 115km/h, Sutton could only manage fourth fastest in Q2.

Nicolas Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown Cupra Leon  and Adam Morgan, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

Nicolas Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown Cupra Leon and Adam Morgan, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Rory Butcher, after numerous visits to the gravel trap at Paddock Hill Bend, squeaked through to Q2 at the last gasp when a new set of tyres was fitted to his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla GR Sport, and he then went fifth on the grid.

The Scot will share the third row with Bobby Thompson, who has been quick all day and looked a cert throughout for Q2 in his Team Hard Cupra Leon.

Reigning champion Tom Ingram ended up seventh in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, while Josh Cook lightly hit the barriers at Clearways and finished eighth in the lead One Motorsport Honda Civic Type R.

The top 10 was completed by Dan Lloyd’s Hard Cupra and Excelr8 Hyundai BTCC rookie Ronan Pearson, who did a fine job to make Q2 on only his second outing in the series by edging out veteran team-mate Tom Chilton by 0.001s.

Q1 was topped by Hill from Sutton and Turkington – the last-named put in a good time after twice spearing off onto the grass at Graham Hill Bend.

There were numerous incidents, and the first red flag was caused by Nick Halstead’s Excelr8 Hyundai getting pitched into the gravel trap at Paddock after contact with George Gamble’s Speedworks Toyota.

The second occurred after Nic Hamilton spun his Team Hard Cupra and came to rest at the bottom of Paddock; Adam Morgan then spun his WSR BMW and performed a series of pirouettes before smashing into the unfortunate Hamilton.

The third stoppage was caused by Will Powell understeering off into the tyre wall at Druids in his One Motorsport Honda.

The highest-profile casualty from Q1 was Donington polesitter Dan Rowbottom, who just couldn’t get the handling of his Motorbase Ford to suit him and ended up 16th. To make matters worse, a three-place grid penalty for a Donington incident with Aiden Moffat means he will start 19th.

BTCC Brands Hatch qualifying results:

Cla Driver Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Dan Cammish 54.297  
2 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 54.568 0.271
3 United Kingdom Jake Hill 54.574 0.277
4 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 54.638 0.341
5 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 54.709 0.412
6 Bobby Thompson 54.802 0.505
7 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 54.964 0.667
8 United Kingdom Josh Cook 54.985 0.688
9 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 55.056 0.759
10 Ronan Pearson 55.328 1.031
11 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 55.001 0.704
12 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 55.099 0.802
13 Jack Butel 55.117 0.820
14 United Kingdom Ricky Collard 55.210 0.913
15 Dexter Patterson 55.214 0.917
16 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 55.250 0.953
17 George Gamble 55.356 1.059
18 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 55.376 1.079
19 Jade Edwards 55.428 1.131
20 United Kingdom Andrew Watson 55.440 1.143
21 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 55.503 1.206
22 Mikey Doble 55.781 1.484
23 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 56.148 1.851
24 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 56.814 2.517
25 Nicolas Hamilton 57.195 2.898
26 Will Powell 57.672 3.375
27 Nick Halstead 58.118 3.821

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