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Dan Cammish happy with front row start after ‘up and down’ qualifying

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish says he “has to be happy” with his front row start for the opening race of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton after what he described as “the most up and down session” he’s had in a while.

Cammish topped the second practice session and was hopeful heading into qualifying before a mixture of on-track incidents and a powersteering failure hampered his efforts.

With the problem repaired, he was then forced to abandon his hot lap when the session was stopped due to contact between Mark Blundell and Tom Chilton at the final chicane.

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He told TouringCars.Net that his first flyer was halted by team-mate Matt Neal’s high-speed spin at Church corner, before traffic and then a powersteering issue added to his woes.

“So we pitted to get the second set on, it’s still all to play for, and then we get a powersteering failure in the pit lane,” explained Cammish.

“A line split and it basically just shot oil down the passenger side, it was like somebody let a hose pipe off.

“So I thought we were done. But the guys worked miracles, fair play to Team Dynamics, my side of the garage worked really hard and got me back out.

“Then my first flying lap after that I was a tenth up, purple sector one and then a red flag. You’re thinking, ‘What have I got to do? Give me a chance!’”

Once the session resumed, Cammish provisionally took pole before he was toppled by Sam Tordoff by just 0.030s, and admitted he felt he drove “within himself” to avoid having his time taken away from him as so many others had.

“So I probably drove a little bit within myself,” he said. “I went into the corner a tenth and a half up and came out of it less than half that.

“Ultimately that’s where I lost pole position, but on another day I’d have taken the risk and they’d have pinged me for it.

“So I’ve just got to be happy to be starting on the front row, because that’s the most up and down session I’ve had in a while. But the car’s got a load of speed, I feel confident and tomorrow’s another day.

“It’s a long day, and I think we’ve got a lot of speed. Hopefully it’s dry and we can get it out of ourselves, because I think I need it and we all need it.”

Despite being pleased to qualify on the front row, Cammish admitted it will be tricky to maintain position at the start with the Team BMW duo of Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington behind, joking that he and Tordoff should form a “roadblock” to keep them at bay.

“I think me and Sam should probably cause a roadblock if we can. Ultimately it’s going to be tough – you can’t beat physics – they’re going to launch well,” said Cammish.

“That’s their ace, ours is that we can probably push harder on the early laps while they bring their tyres up [to temperature].

“I think we’ve got very good race pace. Has everybody got good race pace? I don’t know.

With a high chance of showers for the trio of races tomorrow [19 May], Cammish is hopeful of his wet pace, but hopes for it to stay dry in order to get a solid points haul.

“If it’s wet, that’ll throw a ball in the air because I don’t think I’ve driven around here in the wet. I can’t tell you, but I don’t think so,” he said.

“But I’m not sure anybody else has in a long time. We’ll make it up as we go. We tend to be pretty good in the rain. In the full wet I tend to do a pretty good job.

“There’s one man I’m looking at right now over there [Ash Sutton] who does a better job than anyone. So I’d expect to see him up there in the rain. But that’s the ace of his car as well, we’ve all got our little bit to play.

“If it does rain that’ll be disappointing. Once again the wet weather British Touring Car Championship! We’ll see what comes.”

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