Motorsport: Cammish back in the motor racing hotseat

Dan Cammish.

Dan Cammish.

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MORLEY’S Dan Cammish looked to have the motor racing world at his feet following an amazing 24 wins out of 24 in Formula Ford 2013.

What followed was a stop-start year of frustration as a planned move to the British Touring Car Championship stalled at the last minute.

But through the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Cammish is back in the fast lane with the Leeds ace targeting elevation to the World Endurance Championship and declaring: “This is just the beginning.”

Cammish, 25, made national headlines in 2013 when winning every single race he entered in the Formula Ford Series in a season so dominant he was able to sit out the last two weekends.

The former Morley High School pupil had his 2014 campaign in mind and a move to join fellow Leeds ace Sam Tordoff in the BTCC series but budget restraints put paid to a move to the Ford Airwaves Motorbase team at the 11th hour. Former Churwell Primary School pupil Cammish was left deflated and had to settle for a season stepping down to the GT4 series instead of the public eye of touring cars, which supports the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Yet a guest outing for his GT4 team in the Porsche Carrera Cup at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in October proved in no uncertain terms what Cammish was capable of.

Thrust into battle with seasoned Porsche Carrera Cup drivers, Cammish wowed onlookers by bagging both poles and winning race one before only being denied a double by rain in race two. Five months later, Cammish heads into this weekend’s opening rounds at Brands Hatch Indy with a full drive for the season with Redline Racing through the sponsorship of Nationwide Vehicle Repair Services, who were mesmerised by last year’s Brands Hatch GP dominance.

Redline Racing are the most successful team in Porsche Carrera Cup GB history and Cammish hopes that for him a tilt at the 2015 driver’s championship will prove only the beginning.

“It’s brilliant to be back in a really high level series,” Cammish told the YEP.

“It’s going to be great, my big chance I think and the only target for me is to win the Championship. If I can win this and stamp my authority on it then hopefully this will be the start of my career rather than the beginning or the end. I think this is just the beginning for me. Last year we worked really hard to get into the British Touring Car Championship but it just wasn’t possible as we couldn’t find the sponsorship money we needed. That was really disappointing but I have been around long enough now to know that motorsport is increasingly difficult and we have bounced back before so I knew it could be done again.

“The plan was to take almost a step back in my career to try and rebuild. If it had failed I wouldn’t be going into Porsche but it has worked and it’s been quite amazing.”

Integral to setting up this year’s drive was undoubtedly Cammish’s performance as a guest at last year’s Porsche Carrera Cup season finalé.

“It was always going to be a big moment for me,” said Cammish, one of only 12 British Racing Drivers’ Club SuperStars in the country.

“You hear about these things whether it’s in sport or life where one moment changes your life around or things around and that was mine.

“I turned up having not done much time in the car against guys that had been doing it all year and got both pole positions, won the first race and was a few minutes shy of winning the second had it not rained. That moment put me on the map and I’d gone from somebody who could to somebody who can. It was single handedly the biggest moment of my career really.”

Now Cammish hopes many more bigger moments await long after 2015 but the Leeds ace insists neither Formula One nor British – and even World – Touring Cars are his long-term aim.

Instead, Cammish believes GT racing is where motor sport is most expanding.

The Yorkshireman explained: “I think I’d be looking to stick to the GT route – the top level of which is the World Endurance Championship in which there is Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin. That’s growing massively and that’s why people like Mark Webber and other F1 guys have moved over.

“That’s where I’d like to go – if I’m good enough, and I hope I’m good enough.

“But this season is going to be tough, extremely competitive and people are going to go to watch touring cars and stay to watch Porsche Carrera Cup – I promise you that.

“There are a lot of good drivers and guys that last year were racing in Europe in single seaters on their way to F1 kind of thing. There’s the champion from last year who is staying – Josh Webster – and there’s Michael Meadows, who races for the Samsung team.

“Whoever wins this will move on to good things in the future, but just to be where I am now is pretty unbelievable as to get anywhere near breaking even in this sport is tough enough as it is.”

Financially, Cammish says victory in every single race this year would bag him around £30,000 prize-money but the racer is not expecting another Formula Ford-esque whitewash. That means the need for a full-time job with the racing ace recently moving from Steve Ogden Motor Sport where he made kart engines to join his dad Peter and mum Angela’s Morley-based lift making business Qudos Lifts.

Cammish’s mum might drive a Porsche but Cammish has a SEAT Ibiza which is now parked outside his rented house which he shares with long-term schoolfriend Matthew Crumpton.

Mum, dad and 18-year-old sister Ellie are no longer living companions but Cammish said: “It’s great having my own space but I can’t say I miss my mum’s cooking because I go back for it often enough! I go round for some vegetables because my cooking needs to improve I’d say. If it’s not spaghetti bolognese I’m kind of in trouble really.”

It’s high time the racer found a good woman – but not before conquering the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Cammish might have the looks and the charm but laughed: “It’s very quiet on that front. It’s a single Dan Cammish and a Dan Cammish who spends way too much time devoted to motor racing. Absolutely, I have got to meet a girl at some point but now I have got my opportunity I can’t let it go to waste. It will have to wait just a little bit longer!”

Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory at the 2016 British Grand Prix (Photo: PA)

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