Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish was especially delighted to secure pole position for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton after having to bounce back from an incident earlier in the session.
Cammish doubled up by topping the pair of practice sessions before heading into qualifying, but didn’t have an easy run to pole position after being forced to produce his pole lap in the final third of the session.
After dipping under the previous best qualifying and race lap records in the practice sessions prior to qualifying, Cammish then went even quicker in the half-hour session with his time of 1:15.201.
The 2019 runner-up told ITV that being the pacesitter did give him the feeling pole position was his to lose, and was even more grateful to achieve the feat after having to recover from his off-track excursion in which his first set of tyres were ruined.
“[The team has had] ten years with Yuasa and it’s fantastic coming here with a bit of a tweak to the car to celebrate that, and me and Matt [Neal] have both been strong,” said Cammish.
“I’ve been strong in the first practice sessions and it’s a funny one that, because you go into it [qualifying] thinking it’s yours to lose. And I really tried to lose it didn’t I?! Pretty much ruined the first set by too much enthusiasm and not enough talent!
“But I recovered it and I’m really happy with the pole lap actually in the end, because not only was it a good lap but especially to come off the back of putting it in the grass a few minutes earlier.
“Like Tom [Ingram] was saying before, you’ve got to take a bit of a brave pill to really deliver the lap around me. I just had a bit too much bravery and not enough talent, but I recovered it in the end and it’s a really great pole.”
Cammish continued to praise the Team Dynamics outfit – who enjoyed a strong showing with Matt Neal heading the second row of the grid for race one – and believes the results highlights the development the FK8 Honda Civic has undergone.
“[Team] Dynamics have done a great job – we are strong here, the Honda, in general as a package – but we’ve worked at it and we’ve developed it,” he said.
“We’ve improved it incrementally every year I’ve been in it and every year we’ve had the FK8, and that’s the result.
“On a circuit it suits – with the drivers turned up to 11 – we can deliver a really good lap. So it’s nice to have a qualifying lap record, it’s nice to not be a bridesmaid! I seem to qualify second most of the time, but it’s only part of the battle. The real fun starts tomorrow.”
Questioned whether he believed he had done enough to achieve pole after sitting in the pit lane in the final minutes of the session, Cammish explained that he knew he’d utilised the peak of the Goodyear rubber on the highly-abrasive 2.4-mile circuit.
“I wouldn’t say I was comfortable, Thruxton is notoriously hard on tyres, we only get a certain amount this weekend to use. Basically after lap one you’re going to struggle to do it again, so what do you do?
“You either drive around knowing you’re not going to improve or you come in and sit and prey that nobody has got anything left. And thankfully it was the latter. No one seemed to have anything quite left at the end. So yeah, first pole position of the year, and second of my career so I’m very very happy.”
The opening British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton is scheduled to get underway tomorrow at 11:40 BST.