LEEDS motor racing star Dan Cammish has had to be patient for his British Touring Car Championship chance.
Still well short of his 30th birthday, that chance has been granted with Cammish hoping he is here for the long term and out to grab a golden opportunity with both hands.
Morley-based Cammish has spent the last decade building his profile with the Yorkshireman initially signalling his intentions when winning the British Formula Ford Championship Scholarship Class as a 20-year-old back in 2009.
After stints in the ADAC Formel Masters, British Formula Ford Championship, Formula Renault UK, JK Racing Asia Series and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Cammish then blitzed the 2013 British Formula Ford Championship, winning 22 out of 24 races for one of the most memorable years of his career.
Then 23, the former Morley High School pupil naturally harboured longer-term dreams of competing in the highest echelons of British motor sport through British Touring Cars and went on to advertise his claims even further in the next three years, switching Fords for Porsches.
Buoyed by further success – notably winning both the 2015 and 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Series – Cammish had hoped 2017 would finally see him handed his big chance in BTCC, yet the Yorkshireman was unable to seal a drive. Another season in the Porsche Carrera Cup and Porsche Supercup followed before Cammish took matters into his own hands in order to seal a seat in the BTCC. He sent a message on Twitter to Matt Neal upon learning that Neal’s Halfords Yuasa Racing team-mate – Gordon Shedden – was leaving.
That reach-out ultimately led to an interview and the rest is history, as they say, with Cammish now settled with his team in a series in which he hopes he is here to stay.
“We have said on a number of occasions about the difficulties of trying to break into touring cars before and never quite got there,” Cammish told the YEP.
“And now finally, not just to get into touring cars but to get into arguably the best team in Team Dynamics Halfords Yurasa Racing with the Honda alongside Matt Neal as a rookie, I think that was a shock to a lot of people. But it’s great for me because it shows the confidence they have in me to give me the opportunity.”
Cammish now has 24 races under his belt for his team and is buoyed by his best-ever round at Knockill last weekend.
I am leading the Jack Sears Trophy which is for highest-placed rookie driver, so I would love to win that and then obviously next year push on up the championship which I am sure I will.Dan Cammish
A weekend that featured his first BTCC pole position led to a double podium with two third-placed finishes to add to a runners-up berth at Donington Park in the second round of the season which was followed by third-place finishes at Thruxton and Snetterton.
Cammish now sits 10th in the drivers’ standings with two rounds – meaning six races – left at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
The Yorkshireman has been satisfied with his debut year. He said: “The target was always just to do the best job I possibly could and see where that would lead me. I am 10th in the Championship now just behind Matt and I have had a pole position. I would love to get a win and I think if I can finish inside the top 10 in year one that would be a very good result.
“I am leading the Jack Sears Trophy which is for highest-placed rookie driver, so I would love to win that and then obviously next year push on up the championship which I am sure I will.”
Having waited so long for a drive at touring cars, Cammish would then suddenly be taking in his second year aged just 30 with the Leeds ace hoping he has now finally found his home both within the series and with his current team.
“Obviously it’s their way that if I don’t perform then I am not going to be in the team,” said Cammish. “I will find out if I have done enough at some point later in the season and I’d like to think I have but it’s like anything and in professional sport, everyone wants your job.
“Hopefully I have done enough. I am doing the absolute best I can and I am coming off the back of a very good weekend.”
Assessing his long-term aims, Cammish pondered: “The plan for me now is to focus on my touring car career.
“I have got a very good opportunity, I am part of a fantastic group of people and a fantastic team and I have got to look at this as a long-term career plan to keep myself in touring car racing and to build my profile here in the UK and see where life takes me really.
“You look at Matt Neal and he has been in the BTCC for 29 years. He is a three-time British champion, he has had a fantastic career and he’s a household name in Britain really and that’s of course what I want to have on my career.
“I want to be British Touring Car champion and hopefully many times over so I will be putting everything I can behind that.”
For more information on Cammish’s Honda Halfords Yuasa Racing Team including information on the drivers with tips from Matt Neil and Dan Cammish on watching BTCC visit https://www.halfords.com/advice/motoring/brands/halfords-yuasa-racing