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Qualifying report

BTCC Croft: Cammish leads Motorbase Ford 1-2-3 

Dan Cammish took pole position on his home track for the sixth round of the British Touring Car Championship at Croft.

Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

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The Yorkshireman put in a peach of a lap to lead a 1-2-3 for the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST squad and continue the Kent operation’s 100% run of pole positions during the 2023 season. 

Team-mate Dan Rowbottom had just snatched provisional pole as the clock ticked down towards the final few minutes, only for Cammish to immediately eclipse the bearded Midlander’s effort by 0.166 seconds. 

A red flag, caused by BTCC debutant Daryl DeLeon losing control of his Team Hard Cupra Leon at Barcroft and making contact with the barriers at Sunny In, led to a five-minute shootout at the end – which Cammish sat out. 

No one could get near Cammish’s effort – indeed the top four positions remained unchanged – so the Berkshire-domiciled Leeds racer took his second pole of the year following his wet-weather effort at Brands Hatch. 

“I’ve never felt so naked in all my life!” joked Cammish. “To sit there knowing you’ve got provisional pole, and seeing every car coming out behind me, I had to say to my team boss, ‘Just talk to me.’ 

“I knew there wasn’t a better lap in the car. This feels absolutely incredible. I’ve not had dry performance this year, but we’ve worked so hard over the mid-season to sort it. Did we find it? I think we might have.” 

Cammish’s effort came with nine seconds of hybrid boost available to him at a minimum speed of 130km/h, whereas Rowbottom had the full 15s/115km/h. 

Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Their championship-leading team-mate Ash Sutton, meanwhile, did enough for third with the minimum 1s/135km/h. 

Sutton had moved to the top of the times during the second half of the session in what appeared to be a battle for pole with Josh Cook and his One Motorsport Honda Civic Type R, prior to Rowbottom and then Cammish demoting them. 

Cook’s time, set on 11s/125km/h of hybrid, remained good enough for fourth as Brackley team One benefits from the arrival of Civic designer and ex-Dynamics technical chief Barry Plowman, who has joined from Team Hard in an overseeing role. 

A last-lap improvement hoisted Colin Turkington and his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport from seventh to fifth, on 7s/130km/h of hybrid. 

Turkington swapped the top of the times early on with team-mate Jake Hill. Both had laps disallowed for track limits – they were among 16 drivers and 24 laps pinged – but that didn’t make any difference to their final positions, with Hill (on 5s/135km/h hybrid) completing the third row. 

On what was formerly renowned as a BMW circuit, Hill did set a theoretical second-best time behind Cammish on quickest sectors but had a couple of offs. 

Another driver to endure an incident was reigning champion Tom Ingram, who spun his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N at Sunny In early on and languished in 12th at the red flag but improved to end up seventh on 3s/135km/h of hybrid. 

There was a large gap from Ingram to eighth-placed Aron Taylor-Smith at the wheel of his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, and then no gap at all to Stephen Jelley, who set an identical time to the Irishman but did so later in his WSR BMW. 

The second One Honda of Aiden Moffat rounded out the top 10.

BTCC Croft Qualifying results: 

 

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