BTCC

Cammish wins Brands opener as late puncture denies Butcher

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Cammish became the first driver to win for the second time this season. Photo credit: BTCC.net media

Dan Cammish took his second Kwik Fit British Touring Car victory of the season in the opening race of the day at Brands Hatch in dramatic fashion.

The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver was the chief beneficiary of Rory Butcher’s misfortune as a puncture struck the Scot’s Motorbase Ford Focus three laps from the end when he seemed destined for victory.

Starting from pole position, Butcher made a good start to assume the lead whilst Cammish survived contact with a quick starting Ollie Jackson to slot into second. This contact impeded Jackson and allowed Colin Turkington to sneak around the outside of him and move into third position.

Further down the field, Josh Cook tried to slip down the inside of Tom Oliphant for seventh but as the BMW driver closed the door, the pair made contact which sent Oliphant bouncing across the grass and down the order.

Cook’s race continued to be eventful. On lap four he tried to go around the outside of Ingram at Westfield but ultimately ran out of room and went wide across the grass, dropping him to tenth. He would take to the pits to repair the damage a couple of laps later, ending any chance he had of claiming a points finish.

At the front, Butcher’s solid lead had been trimmed as Cammish began to pile on the pressure. However, he couldn’t find a way past and their squabble allowed Turkington to close up, meaning that at the halfway stage of the race less than a second separated the top three.

However, by lap 11 Butcher had once again eased away as the race became fairly processional. The main action was the battle for fifth between Jake Hill, Tom Ingram and Tom Chilton. Ingram finally found a way through when Hill made a mistake at Graham Hill Bend.

With two laps of the original race distance left, Matt Neal and Aiden Moffat came to blows. Neal tried an optimistic lunge down the inside and clipped Moffat into a spin. As Moffat tried to catch it, his car came back across the track and speared into Neal sending him out of the race. The safety car was deployed so Neal’s stricken Honda could be retrieved.

When the race restarted, there were three laps remaining, and Butcher made a good restart. However, coming out of Paddock Hill Bend he slid wide and began to slow as it became obvious the Focus had developed a puncture. It was a bitter blow so close to the end.

Cammish moved into the lead and was untroubled to the flag, becoming the first man to win twice in the BTCC this season. Turkington was second to retain his championship lead whilst Ollie Jackson salvaged some joy for Motorbase with third.

Ingram was fourth ahead of Chilton who was fifth having started tenth. Ash Sutton was sixth, Senna Proctor seventh and the recovering Tom Oliphant eighth. Stephen Jelley was ninth with Hill losing a string of places late on to round out the top ten.

For the full race classification see here.

The second race of the day, round five of the championship, starts at 13:30 and will be broadcast live on ITV4.

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