Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) leads the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK as it heads to Scotland for rounds eleven and twelve. The reigning champion will take to the characterful dips and crests of the distinctive 1.3-mile circuit with a 20 point advantage over his main contender Dino Zamparelli (GT Marques).
The two protagonists have experienced similar ups and downs in their championship campaigns, a perfect weekend for Cammish at Oulton Park offset by a perfect weekend for Zamparelli at Croft, with Cammish responding to take two wins last time out at Snetterton. The see-sawing of the points table illustrates the close-fought nature of the 2016 season throughout the field, the difference between victory and disappointment only fractions of a second in every class.
While the focus has inevitably been on the leading pair, several of the newcomers have been making progress behind them. Most notably leading Rookie and Porsche GB 2016/2017 Scholar Charlie Eastwood, who ran Cammish close in qualifying last time out and pushed hard in both races for two second-place finishes – his best weekend of the season so far.
The Team Redline pairing of Lewis Plato and Tom Oliphant have also been showing strong form as they get to grips with the 460 hp rear-engined 911 GT3 Cup cars. Plato equalled his best points haul of the season after rounds nine and ten as Oliphant, consistent as ever, moved up to fourth in the standings.
Looking for better luck in Scotland will be the rapid Tom Sharp (IDL Racing) and Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing). Sharp’s challenge has been blunted by early contact in three races while Jelley came away with no points from rounds nine and ten after heavy contact with the tyre wall in race one prevented him from making the grid for race two.
Possibly the biggest wild card in Scotland will be local brothers and IN2 Racing team mates, Euan and Dan McKay. Driven by a strong sibling rivalry, both Pro-Am1 competitors have been climbing the overall standings, culminating in sixth overall for Dan in round ten. Euan has won six times in his Rookie season and leads the category comfortably. However, Dan made his Porsche Carrera Cup GB debut at Knockhill in 2015, where he took a maiden category podium, and has the advantage of experience.
A similar situation separates reigning Pro-Am2 champion John McCullagh (Redline Racing) and series newcomer Sean Hudspeth (Parr Motorsport). Both have been category winners in 2016, but McCullagh alone has tackled Knockhill’s unique demands before.
Just eight points separate the trio battling at the top of the Pro-Am2 table. The experienced Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) leads from the returning Peter Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport) and newcomer Mark Radcliffe (Intersport Racing).
Barstys returns to Knockhill after a weekend that saw his fourth win of the season and what he described as his most consistent drive yet. Kyle-Henney has established himself as a regular visitor to the podium in recent rounds, but Radcliffe will have to make the most of the exclusive test day attended by all the teams ahead of the weekend to learn a new circuit.
Not to be overlooked is Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing). Three times a podium finisher in 2016, Jennings won in Scotland against strong competition in 2015 and will be looking to do the same again.
The nature of the Knockhill circuit places an unusually high emphasis on qualifying and single-lap pace. The pressure will be on each driver to manage their tyres and the traffic on what is the second shortest circuit of the season, while all eyes will be on the next turn of the championship duel and whether any of the chasing pack can break through to score their maiden 2016 win.
Rounds eleven and twelve will take place on Sunday 14 August at 10.15 and 15.40 respectively.
1. Dan Cammish Redline Racing 195
2. Dino Zamparelli GT Marques 175
3. Charlie Eastwood Redline Racing 143
1. Euan McKay IN2 Racing 96
2. Sean Hudspeth Parr Motorsport 75
3. John McCullagh Redline Racing 72
1. Tautvydas Barstys Juta Racing 89
2. Peter Kyle-Henney Parr Motorsport 82
3. Mark Radcliffe Intersport Racing 81