29th July 2023

Qualifying at Croft kicks off second half of BTCC season

Dan Cammish, Dan Rowbottom and Ash Sutton secured a hugely impressive NAPA Racing UK 1-2-3 lock-out during qualifying as the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship resumed at Croft Circuit earlier today (29 July).

Rowbottom was the first of the front-runners to hit the top before Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport's Jake Hill and One Motorsport with Starline Racing's Josh Cook both had brief spells at the head of the timesheets.

Sutton then enjoyed an eye-catching battle with Cook for P1 as the former produced a stellar lap in his Ford Focus, particularly encouraging considering that the championship leader only had one second of additional hybrid power available.

If Sutton was showing the prowess of the NAPA Racing UK machines then it seemed to only inspire his team-mates, as Rowbottom initially returned to top spot before Cammish blasted his rivals away with a fantastic lap.

Cook had to settle for fourth at the finish, while a late flying lap from Team BMW's Colin Turkington was enough to edge out WSR stablemate Hill for fifth.

Ingram was languishing down the order following a spin, but when young 17-year-old debutant Daryl DeLeon brought out the red flags after his Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD Cupra hit the barrier at relatively high speed, it handed the reigning champion a final five-minute run to improve his position.

BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8's Ingram immediately fired his #1 car up to seventh, but it was as far as he could go as the reigning champ cited grip problems with his Hyundai i30N.

Árón Taylor-Smith impressed throughout Saturday in his CarStore Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall and the Irishman was duly rewarded during qualifying as he secured eighth on the grid for tomorrow's opener.

Team BMW's Stephen Jelley completed a decent session to take ninth – his best qualifying of the season – for what will be his 250th BTCC race start on Sunday, whilst One Motorsport with Starline Racing's Aiden Moffat rounded out the top ten.

Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will take place at Croft Circuit tomorrow with the full race day being broadcast LIVE on ITV4 from 1130.

Dan Cammish said: "This means the world to me – I wanted to come back after the break period and come out swinging. A 1-2-3 is also an amazing feat for NAPA Racing UK and such a testament to all these guys celebrating in the garage behind me. It feels absolutely incredible!"

Dan Rowbottom said: "For NAPA Racing UK a 1-2-3 is amazing and it's great to see that we've gained some qualifying performance. We had lost a bit in the last few events, despite always showing great race day pace, so this is great news for the whole team."

Ash Sutton said: "It was a battle when we jumped to first and then Josh [Cook] took it, and then Cammish and Rowbottom turned up. It was like, 'give me a break boys! We haven't got any hybrid!'. It's a nice lock-out! Good for me championship-wise with Jake [Hill] and Tom [Ingram] being behind – I'll take that."

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Croft

1. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK 1:22.126s
2. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.166s
3. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.193s
4. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.212s
5. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.280s
6. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.321s
7. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.335s
8. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.713s
9. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.713s
10. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.721s
11. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.732s
12. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.758s
13. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.820s
14. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +0.861s
15. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.994s
16. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +0.996s
17. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.040s
18. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.055s
19. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1.071s
20. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.142s
21. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1.300s
22. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.313s 
23. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1.634s
24. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +2.197s
25. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +2.673s
26. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +3.154s © 2024
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