15 September 2019
A fantastic days racing at Knockhill has resulted in a very congested – and exciting - table at the top of the Drivers’ Standings:
|1. Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW||268 Points|
|2. Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing||258 points|
|3. Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing||257 points|
|4. Josh COOK BTC Racing||238 points|
|5. Rory BUTCHER Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance||227 points|
|6. Tom INGRAM Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||194 points|
Six brilliant drivers with one thing in common: they all put their trust in Cobra Seats.
In truth, it was a mixed day for the guys at the top of the table and it has left the championship wide open.
Race One began with Scotsman Rory Butcher reclaiming the lead on the final lap to win an exciting opener in front of his home crowd.
The Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance driver fended off Andrew Jordan for almost the entire 27-lap contest, before the Honda Civic Type R clipped the kerbs at the final hairpin on the penultimate lap allowing Jordan to storm around the outside and briefly claim first and a potentially important championship point for leading a lap.
Jordan’s joy was short lived, however, as the 3 Series carried too much speed into Duffus Dip on the final lap, giving Butcher the opportunity to reclaim the lead.
With Dan Cammish finishing third and Colin Turkington fourth, race one saw a shuffling of the points at the head of the table but much, much more dramatic results were to follow.
In Race Two Andrew Jordan powered away from the front row to claim the lead into Duffus Dip for the first time, while pole man Rory Butcher, who had the less favourable medium tyre and full ballast, slotted into second place.
The die was cast: While Jordan settled into his rhythm and started to ease away, Butcher was struggling to maintain his pace and came under attack first from Dan Cammish - who powered past the Scot on lap six - and then from a charging Colin Turkington.
Turkington's BMW managed to power ahead of the Honda by the time they reached Duffus Dip at the start of lap seven, but Butcher tried to reclaim third place down the inside into McIntryes. It was a decision that not only influenced the outcome of the race but may also affect the outcome of the season. Rory’s Civic tried to visit a space that wasn’t there, and the result was inevitable, making contact with the rear of the BMW, Butcher sent Turkington spinning into the gravel. While he eventually managed to extricate himself from the gravel trap, Turkington would only finish in 19th – out of the points and at the back of the grid for race three.
Meanwhile, Jordan continued unflustered to his sixth victory of the campaign from Cammish in second, while Butcher took third place and kept the points although his coming together with Turkington was investigated by the stewards after the race and he was handed a five-place grid penalty for race three.
While the headline was inevitably Jordan's victory and Turkington’s disaster, resulting in the latter’s championship lead being cut to just four points, Dan Cammish’s emergence as a real BTCC Drivers Champion contender was slipping below the radar.
On to Race Three, and it was Jake Hill’s turn to have his moment of glory partially eclipsed by the drama hitting the top two in the Drivers’ Championship.
Driving his Trade Price Audi A3 (fitted with a Cobra Seat, of course), Jake dominated the final race to take his maiden BTCC victory (he crossed the line first at Oulton Park, but had the victory taken off him by the stewards). It was an impressive performance by Hill who controlled the pace throughout the 27-lap race despite two safety car interruptions.
It was the first safety car that grabbed the headlines: Seventh-placed starter Senna Proctor spun into the path of the following WSR BMW of Andrew Jordan, taking the race two winner and championship chaser into the gravel and out of the race.
With Colin Turkington only managing to force his way up to tenth place at the finish of race three, the drama encountered by the top two in the Championship at the start of the day really left the door open for Cammish to make huge strides up the table.
Consistency is the key for Dan and he took giant strides towards his 2019 British Touring Car Championship, coming away with two more podium finishes and a vastly reduced points deficit to his two major rivals. His weekend started well: Qualifying around the tight and undulating 1.3-mile track Cammish earned the outside front-row spot, ahead of his closest championship rivals and just 24 hundredths shy of the fastest qualifier.
Taking the medium compound tyre option for race one, Cammish was overtaken off the grid by Andrew Jordan, then lost third to Tom Chilton, both rivals on the preferred soft tyre, before quickly repassing Chilton and then triumphing in a race-long battle with championship leader Colin Turkington, to hold onto his third place and earn his 10th podium finish of the year.
Cammish lined up for the second race with his Civic Type R on the soft compound tyre, and held off the fast-starting Turkington as the lights went green. With six laps down the Honda man dived inside race one winner Rory Butcher at the hairpin to claim second spot, thereafter keeping race leader Andy Jordan in his sights to take yet another podium and a welcome haul of championship points.
The reverse grid draw for the final race put Cammish in eighth on the grid, closest championship rival Jordan just behind. In a dramatic first lap the Honda just avoided the accident that removed Jordan from the action, and then became involved in a frantic multi-car battle. Sixth place at the chequered flag was the reward, along with a significant gain in the championship.
Dan Cammish now heads to the next rounds at Silverstone on 29th September with the most podium finishes in the field. More significantly while still holding third place in the championship, he is just nine points back from leader Turkington and a single point behind Jordan. With more than 120 points available from the six races left in the 2019 BTCC, the Honda team is firmly in the title chase.