BTCC - DONNINGTON PARKRound 2 at a chilly Donington Park (the unseasonable weather continues) proved to be a tale of mixed fortunes for the drivers using Cobra seats.
A qualifying session hampered by rain and a red flag inevitably meant a late rush for pole, but heavy traffic meant that a clear run proved elusive for most. Dan Cammish in his Team Dynamics Honda was best placed in 4th. It was a qualifying to forget for Andrew Jordan in his WSR BMW (a turbo oil pipe and scavenge pump problem the cause), resulting in him starting in an unfamiliar P30.
Race 1 was eventful, particularly at the Old Hairpin. Cammish’s good start put him in 2nd and an excellent first lap from WSR’s Rob Collard put him in 14th from a starting position of P25 on the grid. A close battle between Colin Turkington, Matt Neal and Tom Ingram almost ended in tears at the Old Hairpin when Turkington’s slithering BMW looked like it was about to collect a few more cars and it was only Tom Ingram’s skilful driving that kept his Speedworks Avensis on the track. Dan Cammish maintained his second place to earn his first BTCC podium – incidentally also a first for Team Dynamics new Honda Civic Type R, BTCC; Matt Neal in the other Team Dynamics Honda finished a creditable 6th from P17 on the grid. The close battles between the Cobra seats drivers continued for the minor placings – less than half a second separated teammates Turkington and Collard for 10 and 11th.
Dan Cammish’s good weekend looked to be continuing with an excellent start in race 2 and leading into the first corner. Rob Collard’s WSR BMW was again performing well, up to 5th by the end of lap 1. Rob Austin in the DUO Motorsafe Alfa Romeo had a narrow escape sliding sideways into the wall on the timing line at the end of lap 1 but still managed to continue. It didn’t take Championship leader Tom Ingram long to get into the groove with his Speedworks Toyota Avensis carving its way through the field, taking the lead on lap 10 and maintaining position to take the chequered flag. Dan Cammish finished just outside the podium places in his Team Dynamics Honda. “That was absolutely crazy!” said Ingram. “It was very similar to the race back at Brands Hatch and the car was just so hooked up. It’s just incredible without the weight. I was really confident heading into the race, as I was losing that ballast. Spirits were high and we had the confidence in the car to make our way through”.
A water leak on Colin Turkington’s WSR BMW dampened his (and their) day – a DNF in race 2, an engine change before race 3 and all for the sake of a pin (apologies to Benjamin Franklin). It’s all credit to the team’s hard work that he managed to start, albeit from the pit lane, and finish the race. Track conditions were still slippy for race 3; the Team Parker BMW of Stephen Jelley and the Team Hard Volkswagen CC of Mike Bushell found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting caught up in more slithering at the Old Hairpin. The ensuing safety car resulted in a tight battle between 6 cars for the last podium place. Dan Cammish was trying to take 4th when the slightest of touches caused a puncture and put him out of the race. Rob Collard’s hard work was rewarded with a 4th place, just edging out Andrew Jordan. Tom Ingram’s 8th place sees him maintain the Championship lead by 7 points.
Mention should also be made of Jake Hill in his Team Hard Volkswagen CC whose 10th place finish in the final race secured him Dunlop’s #FOREVERFORWARD spoils for making the most passes during the day.
Next round is at Thruxton 19th - 20th May
*Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey