Champion Cammish eyeing up switch to touring cars

After claiming his third national title in four years, Morley's Dan Cammish has set his sights on the British Touring Car Championship. Lee Sobot reports.

Dan Cammish with his trophies.

LIFE is quite literally sweet for Leeds motor racing star Dan Cammish at present.

Eighteen months after he started dating confectionery specialist baker Chloe Thornton, 22 wins out of 30 races has propelled Cammish to a second Porsche Carrera Cup title, and a third British championship in four years.

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Treats from the Thornton family’s Havenhands The Bakers in Boroughbridge have been particularly satisfying after one of Cammish’s many victories.

And now the Leeds star hopes further celebrations will follow next year – but in the British Touring Car Championship – to further decorate an already impressive young career.

Cammish has successfully defended the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship which he bagged in 2015, again sealing the trophy with two races to go.

Having also won the British Formula Ford championship in 2013, the young Yorkshireman is already a triple national champion in high profile series’ at just 27 years of age.

Sam Tordoff will now look to land another major blow for Leeds next weekend when attempting to hold his lead in the British Touring Car Championship and become national champion.

Cammish – who has been friends with Tordoff since the duo’s karting days – is confident the Leeds racer will take the championship and land the biggest success of his career.

Come 12 months’ time, though, Cammish hopes to be racing wheel to wheel in the same series, with the Porsche Carrera Cup champion quietly confident of sealing a drive in next year’s BTCC and doing whoever backs him proud.

“At the moment that’s the talk – what we are working at,” Cammish told the YEP.

“I am managed by Tim Harvey who is the Touring Car commentator and former champion.

“And it’s taken me a long time to get the right people in my corner. Even though I am 27 going on 28, it’s taken me about six years to work up to this point because I have earned my way there in a way.

“I have had to fight my way into it, I have had to earn people’s support and trust and eventually I’ve got the tools to do the job and from here I don’t know.

“I think there are some really good opportunities in Touring Cars at the minute which is somewhere where I would like to be.

“I think I can have a good profile in the UK and I think I could do a really good job.

“Outside of that, I think we will look to maybe potentially getting a GT drive somewhere, probably a European Championship. That’s kind of the natural progression from Porsche.

“The reality is that I’m a British driver, with British support, I have got a British sponsor in Nationwide and if they want to see me in Touring Cars then that is something I would love to do.”

Cammish could certainly have done little more to advertise his credentials with both his first Porsche Carrera Cup championship triumph last year, and moreover his second success this year.

After 11 victories already, the same number as achieved last year, the Redline Racing ace has an unassailable lead over nearest rival Dino Zamparelli.

Reflecting on a third senior British championship, taking into his account his 2013 Formula Ford win, Cammish admitted: “It’s not bad at all. Really good actually. To win it last year was a massive result.

“But when I knew I was coming back to defend it, it was really tough because it was hard at first to get motivated for it really. I was kind of hoping to move on to the next level up.

“It took me a little time to get going really and I don’t think I was driving my best. We had a really tough weekend at Croft. It was an eye opener for me and the team that just because we won last season didn’t mean it was a done deal for this one. I went away, refocused and got my head down and we got back to our best. I have won six on the bounce since that weekend. I think I am more pleased to defend it then I was winning it the first time really.”

Cammish will now look to go out in style at the final round at Brands Hatch next weekend, where all eyes will be on the final round of the British Touring Car Championship in which Cammish hopes to feature next year. Tordoff, another Leeds driving ace, leads the pack with one round to go.

“I have known Sam a long time and we go back a long way,” said Cammish.

“We were friends growing up in karting and all that. I have seen him do a great job in these last few seasons really, he’s had good results.

“But this season more than ever he seems to have really come good. I think the car has been great and I think he has driven some good races.

“Touring Cars isn’t always about winning, it’s about minimising your losses in a way because nobody has constant success in Touring Cars due to the way the format is driven so it’s about doing the best on the days when the odds are against you and Sam has done a really good job of that.

“There’s one round to go and I think Sam can do it this year, I think he can be British champ.”

Asked who would win in a burn up between the duo in similar cars, Cammish laughed: “I’m sure he will back himself and I am going to back myself.

“We haven’t really shared a track too much, we have known each other a long time but we have always been in totally different classes in different years. My attitude is that we’ve both got good results but I’d like to think I’d have the edge if I met him now!”

A potential clash to savour, with Cammish on the crest of a wave at present, enjoying happiness in his life both on and off the race track.

The Leeds ace still works for his parents’ lift company Qudos Lifts but 18 months ago all that was missing from the racer’s life was a better half. But that has all changed thanks to 22-year-old Chloe, who Cammish started dating in April 2015. The duo now live together in Morley.

Cammish explained: “I used to work in Boroughbridge at Steve Ogden Motorsport and Chloe’s family own the local bakery shop.

“I used to be in there every lunch for my dinner and that’s where I met Chloe. She’s a fully qualified baker so she does all the sweets and the confectionery so she quite often brings home the nice sweets which means I put weight on more so I am certainly not as slim as I was. I have to go to the gym a lot more now.

“I don’t know whether it is her, I sometimes like to tell her it is, but I have actually had massive success since I met her really.

“I have won 22 races out of 30 and only finished lower than second once which is quite an unbelievable statistic so she’s certainly not a distraction from my racing. If anything she is calming influence on it, she understands that and she’s a great supporter of it. It’s great to have her in my corner as well.”