Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish stormed to a crucial victory from 12th on the grid to secure a Team Dynamics 1-2 in a dramatic rain-affected opening British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch.
As rain fell heavier in the closing stages, those who had gambled for wets under the safety car caught dramatically on the final lap, with Matt Neal and Tom Chilton scything through to take second and third on the run to the line.
They denied Rory Butcher a podium while championship leader Colin Turkington was the first of the rear-wheel drive runners in fifth position having lead in the opening stages of the race, now with just a seven point advantage in the championship standings.
It was Subaru’s Ash Sutton who held the early advantage after enjoying better traction than polesitter Turkington to take the lead into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, while fellow title contender Andrew Jordan jumped to third.
Turkington then immediately set about pressurising Sutton and got a better run through Paddock Hill Bend before completing the move at Druids at the start of lap four and held the lead up until the safety car was deployed after Matt Simpson’s Honda had a heavy impact with the barrier at the first corner.
With rain falling heavier under the safety car, most runners towards the tail end of the pack took the decision to switch for wets, which paid dividends in the closing stages.
When the race restarted, Cammish sliced past Jordan and Turkington as they struggled for tyre temperature before picking off first Jake Hill – who suffered issues in his Audi S3 – and then Rory Butcher, who he passed around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend in spectacular fashion to claim a lead he never relinquished.
With Neal and Chilton making rapid progress on the final lap, a Team Dynamics 1-2 followed, as Motorbase’s Chilton gave the Kent-based squad a podium on home turf.
Butcher held on to fourth ahead of Turkington while his AmD Tuning team-mate Mike Bushell managed sixth ahead of the rapdily-progressing wet-shod BMW of Stephen Jelley.
Jordan eventually struggled in eighth position, while Silverstone winner Jack Goff again excelled in tricky conditions to finish ninth in his Team HARD Volkswagen CC.
Ollie Jackson completed the top ten while erstwhile leader Sutton managed 11th ahead of Michael Caine who put the three Motorbase Fords in the top 12.
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat was 13th in the Infiniti Q50, while Jason Plato managed 14th as another to switch to wets.
He finished ahead of Power Maxed Racing team-mate Rob Collard, who progressed ten positions to round out the points-paying positions in 15th.
The result means Cammish narrows the gap to Turkington to just seven points, while Jordan sits 21 points adrift.
The second race of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch is set to get underway at 14:10 BST.
|1||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||34:17.508||1:33.973||12|
|2||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||7.882||1:34.940||13|
|3||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||18||8.306||1:35.027||19|
|4||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||18||8.624||1:33.753||5|
|5||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||18||10.37||1:33.724||1|
|6||21||I||Mike BUSHELL||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||18||11.057||1:34.897||9|
|7||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||18||11.916||1:34.906||24|
|8||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||18||12.634||1:33.626||3|
|9||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||18||14.878||1:34.391||22|
|10||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||18||15.919||1:34.183||20|
|11||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||18||19.416||1:33.660||2|
|12||44||I||Michael CAINE||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus RS||18||25.511||1:35.773||14|
|13||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||18||26.312||1:35.150||10|
|14||11||M||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||27.361||1:34.331||16|
|15||9||M||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||29.571||1:34.516||25|
|16||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||18||31.589||1:33.384||4|
|17||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||18||33.187||1:34.888||26|
|18||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||18||33.518||1:35.026||27|
|19||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||18||36.676||1:34.331||11|
|20||37||I||Rob SMITH||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||18||45.436||1:36.806||23|
|21||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||18||45.831||1:34.557||18|
|22||8||I||Mark BLUNDELL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||18||52.080||1:34.623||21|
|23||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||18||1:49.546||1:34.385||17|
|24||24||I||Jake HILL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||17||+ 1 LAP||1:33.712||6|
|25||777||I||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||17||+ 1 LAP||1:35.282||28|
|R||22||I||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||14||DNF||1:35.504||7|
|R||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||13||DNF||1:34.543||15|
|R||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||11||DNF||1:34.296||8|
|R||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||10||DNF||1:37.520||29|
|R||303||I||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||4||DNF||1:34.483||30|