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Dan Cammish ‘enjoying driving again’ after lightning start in 2023

Dan Cammish put together a stunning British Touring Car Championship qualifying lap at Brands Hatch despite not ‘expecting pole today’.

The NAPA Racing UK driver said “this car is not my car from last year” after having a near-perfect start to his 2023 campaign.

“I think I’m a little bit in shock as well, I didn’t really celebrate too much,” said Cammish to TouringCars.Net. “Even with the team, where they were like, smile, and I was like, you know what, I feel a bit… I wasn’t expecting pole today.”

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Throughout Q1 there were three red flags during the 30-minute session resulting in the conclusion of Q1 finishing almost an hour after it started.

“It felt like forever we were sat in the cars, and you just never felt safe, I just said to my engineer at one point, ‘if this was F1 quali where’s the cut-off point, because it just felt like you were never safe. Have I done enough? I’m sitting in P2, but how much is it going to improve.’

“I’m glad I went out at the end, because I think the time did improve well into the 54s by the end of Q1, so there was never any room just to sit back and take it easy. It was on the limit, there was not much to the lap before, and then on the lap it just all came up at once, and the car just came good in one moment and I drove the lap that I’ve been wanting to drive the whole session.”

The cars never looked like they were comfortable on the circuit at any point in the session due to the inclement weather. Many were surprised during Cammish’s lap as he looked to be sideways through Paddock Hill Bend.

“I’d come over the radio and been told you’ve got two laps left. One of them is gone, so I know this is it. It was like you might as well throw it in now, you’re going from really high grip surfaces at this end of the track to Surtees and Clearways feels like an ice rink, it’s really difficult.”

The start of the season could not be much better for Cammish taking the championship lead at the opening event and now pole at the second meeting. That being said, he is aware of how different it is to how last season went.

“This car is not my car from last year, it’s not even remotely similar to my car from last year as far as I’m concerned. It’s a whole new bit of kit and it’s on my side now. It was a car that last year I’ve struggled with – no matter how much we changed, it couldn’t help me. I couldn’t get the best out of it, the window was so small, now my operating window feels very wide.

“I’m enjoying driving it again, I want to be here. I’m looking forward to Sunday. I just feel like a different person, and having a car that’s done that, having a car that lets me get the best out of it.”

There were times were Cammish had questioned whether or not he was capable after having a bad spell during last year. The NAPA Racing UK driver has not let that hinder his current season.

“Last year I looked at myself more than I ever have in my career, and generally at times felt, can I even do this? Like, what’s happened to me. I was struggling no end at times, then a year on, feeling back to my best and enjoying it and the results are coming and I’m the same person.

“The car now just suits me. The team’s worked very hard to give me that, there were some dark times that we came through to get to the good, we are obviously on the crest of a wave. It won’t always be like this, we will have our difficult days, but after last weekend and this pole, you know,  I’m going to enjoy the good days, because, you never know.”

Some drivers were confused at how the track was getting faster whilst the circuit was getting wetter. As the timesheet showed Cammish had the answer for that specific question.

“I think sometimes you can get a track that’s almost dry and it goes greasy and actually gives up less grip. When the track’s that wet, obviously the wet tyre is working to its best, that’s why we were never safe. You never knew, a bit more rain, the track could spark up and purples and greens will start coming.

“I drove the lap when I needed it, that lap’s been coming for the last 50 minutes. It just took me 50 minutes to finally put all the pieces together, that’s actually not a lie. The amount of adventures, if you watch the whole session from my onboard, I have, the last turn or turn one.

“Laps where you give it a bit of opposite lock and you catch it and you think, if that’d have just stuck, that’d have been better, I’ll try again next time, next time’s no better. I could feel that one of these is going to stick, and it just happened to be the one that mattered.”

The start of the season has been strong from the #27 car. Despite this being the case Cammish is not letting himself get left behind by getting too confident in a hot spell.

“Yeah we are riding a crest of a wave of confidence. This year I want to leave no stone unturned, from my side I’m working harder than ever, studying harder than ever.

“I’m quite a bit lighter than I’ve been a long time, I think I’m back to almost where I raced in Porsche in 2015, eight years ago.

“I’m not resting on my laurels, this is a good start, but we’ve got to kick on and keep going because this is a long old year. I know that better than most having been very close once before, so we’ll see.”

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