This feature will look at two of our greatest Porsche Carrera drivers over the last decade.
(Photos from: www.thechequeredflag.co.uk & www.pistonheads.com)
Since the Porsche Carrera Cup was formed in 2003 those watching have been lucky enough to witness some truly fantastic drivers over the years such as Richard Westbrook, Tim Harvey, Michael Meadows and more recently Josh Webster.
All have done the series and indeed the UK proud, showcasing the strength in depth our support categories have to offer however in recent years, one driver has stood out above the rest, Dan Cammish.
Like many young drivers, Dan started his career in karts in 2003 at the Manchester & Buxton Kart Club in Junior Rotax where he continued in a number of championships and races such as Kartmasters and Super 1.
Dan graduated to cars in 2009 competing in the ADAC Formula Masters before graduating into Formula Renault in 2011 after the third round of the season. Despite missing the first three rounds of the season and competing with drivers such as Alex Lynn and Oliver Rowland, Dan still finished an impressive sixth, never finishing outside the top nine in a season which included four podiums.
For 2012 Dan was set to compete in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series, alongside drivers such as Stoffel Vandoorne, Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon. However sadly, in the first round of the season Dan was involved in a high speed accident, flipping his car in the air which resulted in him breaking his pelvis.
Dan did not compete again in 2012 though in 2013, Dan returned with one of the most dominant seasons in modern racing. Having returned to Formula Ford after last competing in the series in 2010, he won every race he entered, 24 out of 24 and only failed to start from pole twice all year. It ensured that Dan would win his first championship outright after winning the Scholarship Class in 2009. Due to his success he did not compete in the final two rounds of the season at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
This success earned Cammish a test with BTCC’s Motorbase in the winter before signing with Team Parker Racing for the 2014 British GT4 Season which also included a guest drive at the end of the year in the Porsche Carrera Cup GT at Brands Hatch. In his first race in the category, he won, which he followed up with a fifth place finish in the final round of the season.
This drive saw Cammish move into the series full time for 2015, in what was a very strong field including reigning champion Webster, Michael Meadows and Tom Sharpe. Despite this strong opposition, Dan looked at home from the start and went onto complete another extraordinary season, in which he failed to finish lower than second, only not winning five times all year. He subsequently won the championship by a staggering 98 points.
Rumours started to develop about where Dan may find himself in 2016 however it was announced that he would remain in the series for 2016 and defend his crown. Once again the grid was full of talent, even if his old rivals had moved on. New drivers took their place with former GP3 driver Dino Zamparelli and Charlie Eastwood offering the closest competition. Once again though, Dan won the series dominantly, only failing to win four times all year, ensuring he won the championship by 56 points.
In a case of déjà vu rumours started to circulate over the winter yet again as to where Cammish would be racing the following year. He soon announced that once again he would be defending his crown, combining his efforts with the Porsche Supercup, which supports the Formula 1 season.
Currently with three rounds and six races down, Cammish once again leads the Porsche Carrera Cup standings by 15 points ahead of closest rival Charlie Eastwood, whereas in the Porsche Supercup only two rounds and three races have been completed.
2017 is Dan’s first full season in the Supercup and has the experienced former Red Bull test driver Michael Ammermuller as his teammate. The beginning of May saw Dan take to the grid in Barcelona for the first round of the championship. His first weekend ended with two strong finishes, a third in the first race followed by a fourth in the second leaving Cammish third in the standings.
This form was not a fluke though as at the third race of the season in Monaco, Dan qualified third, at his first time around the principality, before finishing second which included the fastest lap. Dan still remains third in the standings, only behind Ammermuller and Dennis Olsen.
It has been a fantastic start to his Supercup career, which also highlights how much of a talent Cammish is.
It may be too soon to compare Cammish to other great British talents however in terms of similar careers one driver stands out, our most recent breakthrough driver in Porsche’s, and particularly the Supercup, Sean Edwards. Like Dan, Edwards started his career in single seaters in 2003 where he too started racing Formula Ford before graduating to Formula Renault in 2004.
Looking back on the 2004 Formula Renault season, it was a star studded field with the likes of Mike Conway, Paul di Resta, Susie Wolf (then Stoddart), Oliver Jarvis and Pippa Mann all competing for the title. In the end it was Conway who won the series in dominate fashion with Edwards finishing 24th with a best result of 11th at the penultimate race of the season at Donington.
Although he had little success in single seaters he gained valuable experience and soon Edwards shone in GT and Porsche racing. 2005 saw Edwards switch open wheel racing to the British GT Championship where he finished fifth in his only season in the series.
For 2006, Edwards moved to the FIA GT3 European Championship where he claimed his only Championship title, with three wins, which also included eight Porsche Cup wins out of the 10 races. Sean raced in this category from its inauguration in 2006 through to 2009, bar one year in 2008 where he raced in the Porsche Supercup for the first time, in which he finished fifth with two wins. In addition to finishing fifth, he also won the team’s championship with Konrad Motorsport.
2010 saw Edwards return to the Porsche Supercup in which he finished sixth, with a single victory and a further two podiums before finishing fourth in 2011 with 140 points adding another win and three more podiums to his collection. As Edwards continued in the Supercup he returned to Konrad Racing for 2012 in which he finished fifth once more, taking one more win.
As well as racing in the Supercup, Sean also raced in the Dubai 24 Hours, debuting in 2010. 2012 was his best year to date though winning the race outright at his third attempt in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, along with his teammates Khaled Al Qubaisi, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Thomas Jager, from UAE, Holland and Germany respectively.
However 2013 was the year that Edwards really started to put his name on the map. The Supercup switched to a Porsche 991 from a 997 GT3, something which suited Edwards as he won the opening two rounds of the season, which included a season never outside of the top 5.
In addition to this success he retained his Dubai 24 Hours crown and also, and probably his greatest achievement, he won the 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours once again in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 alongside Bernd Schneider, Nicki Thiim and Bleekemolen once more.
Leading the Porsche Supercup, which included one more victory at Hungary, and success in one of Europe’s most coveted races, 2013 was shaping up to be a fantastic year for Edwards.
However on the 15th October, Edwards was tragically killed during a private testing session at Queensland Raceway in Australia while he was the passenger in a Porsche 996 Supercup car. Before the crash, Edwards had commented that the brakes did not feel right on the car and it was later revealed that many aspects of the car were either outdated or heavily worn which could have been factors that led to the fatal crash.
The crash meant that in the end Edwards missed out on the 2013 Porsche Supercup Championship to Dane, and friend, Nicki Thiim. It was an emotional podium when Thiim was crowned and he gave the Supercup trophy to Edward’s family, a wonderful gesture.
I was lucky enough to meet Sean when he first raced in Formula Renault in 2004, as he was introduced to us by his then coach, who was a mutual friend of us both. It was a great year for me as a 10 year old fan travelling the country with my dad watching motorsport, meeting drivers and teams and seeing the work that goes on behind the scenes. From the moment I met him I particularly liked Sean, his quiet humour, friendliness and continuously positive attitude was infectious and something I will never forget.
Although Sean was never at the front in Formula Renault, you could see that he had potential despite possibly being in the wrong formula for his build. It was always a joy to see and read how well he was getting on from then on.
Upon hearing about his death, it was one of the saddest, if not the saddest, moment of my time involved with motorsport. He is someone I still miss now.
Both Sean and Dan have shown great talent behind the wheel and in particular, behind the wheel of a Porsche, let’s hope that Dan can achieve what Sean would have achieved and win the Supercup Championship. Who knows how far Dan will go, at his current rate of progress, the opportunities should be limitless.