Motorsport: Daniel Cammish interview

After over a decade of kart racing, Daniel Cammish is heading for the fast lane of Formula Two with a Formula One test drive the ultimate incentive to the series winner.

But even if the Leeds ace does make the grade, the celebrity lifestyle of a Jenson Button or a Lewis Hamilton is not his driving force!

Cammish, 21, insists he simply lives for racing cars and a celebrity girlfriend like a Nicole Scherzinger is not on his agenda, nor would it sit well with current girlfriend Charlotte!

But nevertheless the Leeds star is certainly going up in the world with the young Yorkshireman set to race under the SAAT Sports Management banner in next year's F2 series.

Whilst the rest of Britain froze in sub-zero temperatures, Cammish jetted off to Spain this week to bask in 20 degrees temperatures when testing his car designed by the Williams F1 team.

And looking ahead to next year it is that drivers' championship and Williams F1 test drive that is firmly in the Leeds youngster's gaze.

Thrilled about his forthcoming step up from the Formula Ford series, Cammish told Yorkshire Sport: "I'm very excited to tell the truth.


"It's going to be a big step up but while Formula Ford is hard it's not quite as sexy.

"People like to see Formula One cars which are exactly very similar to Formula Two ones and it's a very, very fast class.

"I'm really excited.

"To know that the winner gets an F1 test drive is massively exciting.

"It's a massive opportunity and just to sit in a Formula One car is like going out to play for Leeds United at Elland Road.

"It's a great opportunity and there's no doubt about it, the aim is to win the championship and to get that Formula One test."

Cammish has come a long way since first racing karts at the age of eight, his early love for motorsport heavily influenced by his father Peter – a keen kart racer himself.

Cammish still remembers his early days as an eight-year-old novice but also remembers he very nearly gave up the sport for good.

"My dad did some karting around the time I was born but he could never really afford it or find the time to do it," revealed Cammish, pictured left.

"He has been a huge motor racing fan since he was a boy and couldn't wait to get me involved the minute he could.

"I was fine when on my own but didn't enjoy the racing and decided to retire after just two races.

"Next time I sat in a kart was my 13th birthday and I clearly hadn't forgotten what I had learned five years before.

"My dad asked if I would like another go and since then we have not looked back.

"Over the next couple of years I went on to compete at national level and even international level in 2008."

A year later, in 2009, Cammish took the step up to car racing with Formula Ford and in his first ever race the rookie qualified in second on the grid, learning later that he was the only driver to qualify on the front row in his first ever Formula Ford race since Ayrton Senna.

Cammish finished the race in third, a podium finish at his first attempt, and then qualified his next race in pole position, clearly indicating he was heading for the top.

The Leeds star finished the season in sixth place and as top rookie, despite missing a race having picked up a drive in the German Formula ADAC Masters for Austrian team, Neuhauser Racing.

Cammish then chose to stay in Formula Ford for the 2010 season, finishing third in the overall standings with two race wins, winning the Zandvoort masters Event in Holland and on live TV at Donington Park in the event supporting the British Touring Car Championship.

Now comes Cammish's next big move and there is no hiding the young talent's excitement or ambition, but he knows the step up to F2 will be no walk in the park.

"My car was designed by the Williams F1 team, has 450hp and is a big step up from my Formula Ford," admitted Cammish, who spends most of his spare time keeping fit in the gym or on racing simulators.

"However, I am sure it won't take me long to adapt and I am positive I will be running at the very front and hopefully fighting for the championship.

"I have my sights firmly set on Formula 1 for the future and Formula 2 in 2011 is one step closer."

Not that progress has been easy for Cammish who used to work part time for Advance Lifts in an attempt to help out with his passion's costs.

However, Cammish and his father Peter soon decided the young ace would only get one crack at the big time.

Any part time work was subsequently scratched.

"I used to work for my dad because he was the managing director of Advance Lifts," said Cammish.

"But we decided in 2009 that I was only going to get one opportunity to be a professional racing driver so we went after it all guns blazing.

"It's landed me now with professional management and hopefully a career in Formula Two and beyond.

"If at all comes off then we'll have made the right decision.

"I would also like to take to thank all those who have helped me throughout my racing career – none more so than my family and especially my parents Peter and Angela who have worked tirelessly so I can do what I do.

"I would also like to thank my Management SAAT for their hard work and belief in me and my uncle Phil Greenwood who has been with me through it all from the very start."

Now a new chapter in Cammish's racing career beckons as the racing ace counts down the days to his F2 debut.

The former Morley High School student, wants to be a Leeds F1 star of the future and of British stars Hamilton and Jenson Button, it is the latter he really aspires to follow.

"I like the two of them but I think Jenson is quite a good role model," he said.

"He had years of driving a car which was sub-standard but he never let it affect him and he never dropped his head.

"To then come back fighting last year and to win the championship it just shows what can happen if you keep pushing yourself on.

"Motor racing can involve bad times but hopefully in the end the good times make up for it and I think what he has done really highlights that."

And how the good times would certainly roll as an F1 ace, though Cammish stresses he is not driven by the prospect of a celebrity lifestyle.

"I'm in this because I love to race cars. Hopefully there will be a little bit of money around the corner but we'll have to wait and see!"

Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom. PIC: Tony Johnson

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