Dan Cammish wins Brands Hatch opener, as Ashley Sutton takes the championship lead

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish got the better of both Ashley Sutton and Tom Ingram on his way to victory in the opening race of the day at Brands Hatch, as the championship takes another turn.

Sutton’s second place was enough to see him leapfrog Colin Turkington, and now leads the standings by just two points from the Team BMW man. Cammish still sits in third and is 13 points behind Sutton with Ingram a further 13 points behind him.

A fourth place wasn’t enough for Rory Butcher to keep his championship hopes alive, as he looks to round off a very good season on a high in races two and three.

Ingram led the field away with Sutton slotting in behind him. Cammish was looking like the quicker of the front-three though and soon found himself passing the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti to move into second.

Cammish then started to apply pressure to race-leader Ingram but couldn’t find a way through, as contact between both Glynn Geddie and Sam Osborne sent both off at Druids and into the gravel. The safety car was subsequently brought out to retrieve both stricken cars.

The restart saw Cammish continue from where he left off as he tried diving up the inside of Ingram’s Toyota Corolla at Clearways. However, Ingram defended well to keep the position, but at the half-way point, Cammish finally got the move completed.

Cammish had to fight for victory. (Photo credit: BTCC/Jakob Ebrey)

The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver dived up the inside of Ingram going into Paddock Hill Bend and completed the move as the duo braked for Druids with Cammish just about managing to stop his car.

Ingram then started to fall into the clutches of third-placed Sutton as Cammish extended his leading margin. The 2017 champion made his way past the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters’ Corolla as the pair went through Surtees before beginning his charge towards Cammish.

Despite closing the gap, it was Cammish who held on for a well-deserved win as he bids to become the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car champion.

Cammish was very pleased with the result, but admitted he needs to improve again ahead of race two because everybody else will as well.

“It’s all about trying to score as many points as you can, and when you’ve got a car that’s clearly got the potential, you’ve got to use it,” said Cammish.

“I’ve been in many fights with Tom Ingram this year where he’s had a slight advantage, but this morning, we managed to reverse that. You’ve got to give as good as you get. I’m really pleased with the result, both for myself and for everybody at Team Dynamics.

“We were quick yesterday, and we knew we had a good race car, so I’m really glad we put it to good use. First blood to me, but we’ve got to go back and see if we can improve again because everybody else will.”

Sutton finished in second, but admitted it took the tyres a while to come alive.

“I felt like we had a very good car at the end of the race – it really came alive,” he said.

“Just before the safety car, it felt like, ‘hang on a minute, I’ve got a car underneath me here’ but then we had to start again and it wasn’t until the latter stages of the race that I had the pace to put a move on Tom [Ingram] and then try and hunt down Dan [Cammish].

“The tyres just started to come in – they seemed to take a very long time, but I saw Tom was wounded to some extent and he was falling into my lap. I did play it safe, but if the move was 100 per cent on, then I was doing it.”

Ingram was happy with third, despite not having an answer to either Cammish or Sutton.

“The conditions were super tricky in race one, and it seemed like they were changing every lap – we even had another short downpour midway through,” he explained. “We were just struggling with the front tyres and I didn’t really have an answer for Dan [Cammish] or Ash [ Ashley Sutton] towards the end, but it was pleasing to get a podium nonetheless.”

Butcher finished fourth with teammate Ollie Jackson right behind him in fifth whilst Jake Hill finished in sixth.

Seventh was Matt Neal with Josh Cook eighth and Turkington ninth.

Turkington struggled with the balance of his BMW 330i M-Sport in Brands Hatch opener. (Photo credit: BTCC/Jakob Ebrey)

Tom Oliphant came home 10th with Adam Morgan 11th and Tom Chilton 12th.

Chris Smiley finished 13th with Aiden Moffat 14th whilst Paul Rivett fended off Stephen Jelley to come home in 15th.

Header image courtesy of BTCC/Jakob Ebrey

By Jordan Hollands.

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