2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season review – part one

In 2015, Daniel Cammish waltzed to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB title. The Leeds-based racer’s maiden campaign in the series brought ten race wins (often escaping the chasing pack from the moment the lights went out) and he never finished lower than second, wrapping up the crown with two races to go.

This season, the raw statistics paint an even more dominant picture. Cammish – who again teamed up with Redline Racing in the Nationwide-sponsored Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car – won a record-breaking 12 races, again securing the title with a meeting to spare.

However, the numbers on paper don’t tell the whole story of the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, a year when Cammish probably had to dig deeper than ever before (at least in the first half of the season) to secure championship glory.

Dino Zamparelli, driving for GT Marques in 2016, opened the season strongly with victory at Brands Hatch.
Dino Zamparelli, driving for GT Marques in 2016, opened the season strongly with victory at Brands Hatch.

Opening the season at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, it was actually Dino Zamparelli, driving for the GT Marques squad, who won the first encounter of the year, benefiting from a contentious track limits penalty for Cammish (who had started the race from pole position).

While Cammish came out fighting in race two, taking his first victory of the year by over six seconds, two fastest laps for Zamparelli ensured that the Bristol-based racer left the 1.2-mile track in Kent tied on points with his Redline Racing rival.

Supporting the FIA WEC in tricky conditions around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Cammish was able to fend off Zamparelli in both rounds three and four. However, both were hard fought affairs, especially the second encounter where the 24-year-old racer was beaten to the chequered flag by just 0.6 seconds.

Daniel Cammish (Redline Racing) strolled to a double victory at Oulton Park at the start of June.
Daniel Cammish (Redline Racing) strolled to a double victory at Oulton Park at the start of June.

Oulton Park played host to another masterclass from Cammish, who seemed to finally be getting into his stride at the Cheshire circuit. While the 27-year-old took his fourth and fifth victories of the season, Zamparelli struggled for pace, finishing fifth and third respectively in rounds five and six.

Instead, Cammish’s closest challenger came from Team Parker Racing’s Stephen Jelley. In what was undoubtedly the veteran racer’s best weekend of the year, he twice finished second (and was leading race one around the undulating parkland circuit until he was forced off the road lapping a backmarker).

If the 2015 champion thought retaining his title was about to turn into a cakewalk however, round seven and eight at Croft brought Cammish firmly back to earth.

The opening half of the season saw a number of tight battles between Cammish and Zamparelli, often with only a few tenths between them.
The opening half of the season saw a number of tight battles between Cammish and Zamparelli, often with only a few tenths between them.

Mechanical problems in race one limited him to seventh (his first non-podium finish in the Carrera Cup GB since a wildcard entry into the 2014 season finale) and he couldn’t overhaul Zamparelli in race two, finishing second.

While his rival struggled, Zamparelli enjoyed his best weekend of the year, winning from pole position and taking fastest lap in both races. In a display reminiscent of his 2015 Silverstone performance, the 24-year-old was untouchable in North Yorkshire, suggesting a title battle wasn’t dead in the water yet.

The maximum points haul meant that the second-year Carrera Cup racer sat just three points behind Cammish in the standings at the season’s halfway mark, while Jelley was a distant third and already under threat by new Carrera Cup GB scholar, Charlie Eastwood.

To find out how Dan Cammish when his second successive Carrera Cup GB title, check out part two of our 2016 season review now.

While Cammish was mired in the midfield, Zamparelli took two wins at Croft to close in the championship leader.
While Cammish was mired in the midfield, Zamparelli took two wins at Croft to close in the championship leader.

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