Dan Cammish’s shock split from Team Dynamics, just two months before the start of the 2021 British Touring Car Championship, turned out to be a precursor to what most had already started to fear: Honda UK has withdrawn its factory interest in the BTCC.
Reading between the lines of the original statement issued by Dynamics around the Cammish split, it was clear neither party wanted this and that bigger-picture news was in the offing. The split was motivated by financial pressures and confirmation has now followed: Honda is pulling the plug on its long-standing support for this stalwart team. Without that backing, it’s now obvious why Cammish could not be retained.
The Dynamics Civic Type-R is among the best cars on the grid, but in a year when model production is due to cease in Swindon, the benefits of works representation in the BTCC has dwindled for Honda – even at a time when the series is back to its best.
Make no mistake, losing the prestige and gelt of Honda’s presence is a blow to the series. But manufacturers come and go from motor racing, as BTCC boss Alan Gow knows from long experience. That’s why he’s built a set of technical regulations that are Teflon-coated to boardroom red pens. It’s a loss, but the series has suffered and survived much more.
The move is potentially more severe for Dynamics, although there has been good news for the squad in its signing of three-time champion Gordon Shedden, who returns to the team after a largely disappointing spell in the World Touring Car Cup, and Dan Rowbottom. The latter brings a big financial package in the form of a "multi-year partnership" between his sponsor Cataclean and long-time Dynamics backer Halfords.
It only serves to illustrate just how reliant even the biggest squads are on drivers who can bring budget. That doesn’t necessarily mean a loss of competitiveness - most drivers, bar Colin Turkington and reigning champion Ash Sutton, bring money to teams – but it certainly brings an extra layer of pressure to Dynamics’ season.
As for Cammish, instead of looking forward to his fourth season in the BTCC and another tilt at the title, he’s been left high and dry. If it was October instead of March another BTCC team might have a deal for the 31-year-old. It will be harder to find a berth elsewhere in time for Thruxton on the first weekend of May. So how about a return to the Porsche Carrera Cup with his former team Redline Racing? The two-time champion versus highly- rated Harry King in Team Parker’s entry would be a duel to savour, but it hardly represents the career progression Cammish would be looking for. He deserves better.