Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish has explained the costly brake failure which dropped him out of British Touring Car Championship title contention on the penultimate lap of the season finale at Brands Hatch.
Cammish endured a poor qualifying session on Saturday in Kent and admitted he thought his title aspirations were over, but put in a storming drive in race one as the momentum swung in his favour; scything through from 12th to first in wet conditions.
He then took the championship lead from eventual champion Colin Turkington by finishing third in the second encounter – just behind rival Andrew Jordan – and was sat in a title-winning position before his brakes failed on the penultimate lap.
Speaking to media including TouringCars.Net after the final race, a bitterly disappointed Cammish said he felt Motorbase Performance’s Ollie Jackson had played a huge part in deciding his fate, as he couldn’t pass the Ford and overheated his brakes.
“At the end of the day it was a shame Jackson was there, I wish I would have brought him a beer yesterday because he basically lost me a championship there,” said Cammish.
“He could have been a bit kinder, he fell off the road about three times in front of me and kept coming back on, his softs were shagged basically.
“I just cooked the brakes behind him, I wasn’t quite fast enough to pass him in the early laps, sat behind him too long and cooked the brakes.
“Then when I was in a position to actually pass him I had a brake failure. That’s in the hands of the Gods that one.
“I flashed him numerous times, I really wished he would have jumped out of the way and given me a fighting chance.
“But he didn’t have to and he didn’t jump out the way of Colin to be fair. You race everyone as you see it. But what could have been, eh?”
While Cammish admitted it simply “wasn’t to be,” he also noted that he was “proud” to produce such a fightback in the title fight, as well as the fact he has a secure future in the form of a two-year contract with Team Dynamics for 2020 and 2021.
“It’s disappointing, there’s nothing but luck in that,” he said.
“It was a brake failure, I think that’s the only mechanical failure I think I’ve had in two years, which is testament to [Team] Dynamics and how much of a great job they do.
“It just wasn’t to be. It wasn’t my day. The drive in race one was fantastic, it gave me a chance. It was something that I went to bed last night dreaming about but preparing myself for disappointment.
“Race one gave me a shot at it, race two was great as well and then Colin was so fast in the last one, much faster than I am.
“I obviously had 42 kilos in the thing, he was free of weight and it’s just the fastest car on the grid by a chunk.
“So I’m proud to have taken it to the wire, two wins to their twelve kind of shows how dominant they were at times.
“We’ll come back fighting and I’m in a good place. I stand here unlike many people with a two-year contract to be in this team, and it’s not by accident.
“I’m disappointed to have come this close, it’s not just hard for the driver, it’s hard for the team, my family and friends. This’ll hurt for a while.
“Then we’ll regroup and try to come back stronger. There’s things that I can do better, there’s things that the team can do better, and we’ll come back swinging.”
Eventually ending the season joint-second in the standings alongside Jordan – only two points adrift of title-winning Turkington – Cammish admitted the following days will be “tough,” but feels encouraged by his 14 podiums and incredible consistency across the second half of the season.
“I wouldn’t have come to touring car racing if I didn’t think I’d succeed at it,” Cammish said. “The speed is there, I’ve had to learn how to get my elbows out a bit and become a bit more of a touring car driver.
“Learn when to attack and when to give in. Getting my head around front-wheel drive is something I did pretty quickly but maybe there’s elements in my technique that can be changed to help me.
“I’m just on an upward curve at the end of the day and the team wouldn’t have given me a contract for two years if they didn’t think I had the potential to win this championship for them.
“I’m in a very happy place, a very good place. The next 48 hours are going to be tough, then we’ll pick ourselves up.”