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NAPA Racing UK scores first BTCC win of 2024


10 Jun 2024

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The NAPA Racing UK team scored a first win of the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season on a fine weekend at Thruxton, allowing the Ford team to remain out front in the title race.

PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING

Free practice had seen Dan Rowbottom, Ash Sutton and Dan Cammish all lap inside the top ten on the time sheets around the fastest circuit in the UK, a performance that was particularly impressive in the case of Cammish who had felt under the weather in the lead up to the event.

The strong pace from the trio continued into qualifying later on Saturday as they all made it through to the final stage of qualifying, with Cammish leading the way with the second quickest time – earning him a front row start for the first time since he qualified on pole at Croft last season.

Rowbottom would end up with the fourth best time – just 0.034s down on Cammish – whilst Sutton overcame the penalty of only having limited hybrid as championship leader to put his car fifth on the grid.

Sam Osborne in the fourth car would line up for the start of race one in 15th place, having been knocked off of the session at the first stage.

RACES 1, 2 AND 3

Although the BMW of Jake Hill blasted into the lead off the line, the leading three NAPA Racing Fords all stormed away from the line to overhaul pole sitter Tom Ingram into the complex, with Cammish and Rowbottom slotting into second and third until mid-way round lap one when a sideway moment for Rowbottom allowed Sutton to nip through. He and Cammish would retain their positions to the finish for a double podium to kick off race day.

Rowbottom’s early slide also allowed Ingram and Tom Chilton to ahead by the end of the lap but after an early safety car to move a tyre stack at the chicane, he got back ahead of Chilton into fifth. An unfortunate post-race penalty for drawing alongside the Hyundai slightly too early on the restart saw him moved back to P7 in the results, with Osborne amongst those drivers delayed by the tyre stack being struck on lap one as he just missed out on the points in 16th.

Hill again led the field away at the start of race two, with Sutton getting a better start than Cammish to move up into second on the run to the complex. Cammish would then be delayed at the chicane and dropped back down to fifth, although he wasted little time in reclaiming fourth when he dived ahead of Josh Cook’s Toyota.

Sutton’s hopes of

Sutton’s hopes ofa first win of the season would be ended by accidental contact with the rear of Hill’s BMW, which damaged the splitter on his car and saw him slip back down the order as he suffered with a lack of front end grid. Both Cammish and Rowbottom would pass him by the finish, with the latter having made up a spot at the start before a mid-race overtake on the Toyota of Josh Cook.

Post-race, Ingram – who had crossed the line first – was penalised for the lap one move on Cammish and dropped to third in the result, leaving Cammish with another second place finish, with Rowbottom and Sutton in fourth and fifth.

Osborne would battle with the Cupra of Daryl DeLeon in the early stages of the race to move up into the top 15, and ended the race in the final points-scoring position.

The reverse grid draw saw Sutton lining up as the leading Focus in fourth place, although he bogged down at the start to drop down to sixth spot, although that soon became fifth when an impressive getaway from Rowbottom was undone at the complex – where contact from Colin Turkington’s BMW put him off the road and at the back of the field. That meant he would ultimately finish a lap down in 17th place having been forced to make a pitstop.

standings

Cammish had climbed to third at the start but a charging Sutton moved back through into the podium spots on lap two and then overhauled both Cook and leader Adam Morgan to grab his first victory of the season and retain his championship lead. Cammish also got ahead of Morgan to secure another second place finish and cap his strongest weekend of the year to date, meaning his now holds fifth in the standings.

Osborne would score his second points finish of the weekend in 13th place, with his results across the weekend seeing him retain third in the Jack Sears Trophy.

NEXT STOP

NAPA Racing UK retains the lead of the Teams’ Championship ahead of the next event at Oulton Park in a fortnight.

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