AmD Tuning’s Dave Newsham believed his performance at Brands Hatch showed signs of things to come from the squad’s machine, as he secured a points finish in his debut weekend with the outfit.
After qualifying in 20th, Newsham was on course to score points in the season’s opening round, but contact from Adam Morgan late in the race dropped the Inverness-based driver down the order, as he eventually finished in 17th.
However, the two-time race winner regrouped and charged through the field in the final race of the day, finishing in ninth, securing the team’s first points in their new Ford Focus.
“We started the first two races strongly, but in both we were struggling with the balance of the car and I was fighting understeer as they went on,” he said. “It meant it was difficult to try and keep my position and we missed out on the chance to get some points on the board.
“For race three, we went softer on the front end of the car and it was a lot more planted. It wasn’t perfect and there are still more improvements that we can make, but it was the best it has been all weekend. I got a good start and we were able to move forwards, and it was good to get into the top ten and give a taste of what we are capable of.
“It is a bit frustrating that we’ve not been able to get more than one points finish, but we have been able to learn a lot about the car that will benefit us going forwards. We elected to go our own way with the set-up of the car and have been as quick as the other Fords on the grid; it’s just a shame that qualifying left us with work to do.”
Team boss Shaun Hollamby was pleased to secure a top-ten finish in the opening round of the season, while reiterating Newsham’s views that there is more to come from the car.
“I’m pleased with how we have performed as a team this weekend,” said Hollamby. “We faced a balance issue with the car today, but worked hard to resolve it and to give Dave the car he wanted; and he rewarded us with a really strong drive in that final race.
“He made some good overtaking moves and his lap times were really impressive; to be within a tenth of a second of the quickest guys in this company isn’t easy.
“A top ten finish is a great way to start the season, but we know we have a car and driver that can push for the podium positions, and that remains our aim. If we can get to Donington Park and start the weekend in the same way we have finished here, then we’ll be in a position to show what we can really do. But this has been an encouraging start.”