Dave Newsham was upbeat about the performance of his car at Thruxton despite scoring just two points at a track where the Scotsman felt he had the pace to ‘push for a podium’.
After qualifying in 18th, Newsham again appeared to have a stronger race car underneath him as he carved his way through the pecking order in the first race of the day, passing Fabrizio Giovanardi for 11th on the penultimate lap before spinning out of the race at Church corner, the scene of a number of incidents across the weekend.
That forced the two-time winner to start from the back of the grid for the second race, where his progress was limited to 22nd, but a forceful drive in race three saw the AmD drive salvage a 14th placed finish.
The 47-year-old was left a frustrated figure after the race, feeling that he could have secured the team’s best result in the series, but remained confident that the weekend marked yet more progress for him and the outfit.
“It’s been the most frustrating weekend of the season in terms of results,” said Newsham. “Without the spin in race one and then the incident in race two, things could have gone a lot different, and while it was good to score points in race three despite picking up some damage early on, we should have taken more away from the weekend; I honestly feel the pace in the car was good enough to push for the podium.
“Although I’m disappointed, there is a lot that we can take away in terms of what we have learned again, and it’s clear that the car is quick; we just have to make the most of it. Hopefully we can get a test in before Oulton Park to work on a few things and then come out fighting in the next round and fight for the results we are capable of.”
AmD boss Shaun Hollamby also reflected on the positives of the weekend, with the team still learning about their Ford Focus after switching to the machine for 2014.
“Again this weekend we’ve shown we have the pace on race day, and now we have to make sure we make the most of any opportunities we get – as Thruxton has been an opportunity missed,” he said. “In race one, we were battling with [Jack] Goff and Giovanardi when Dave had his off and they ended up on the front row for race three, so it gives an idea of where we could have been if things had gone our way. Who knows what we might have been celebrating then.
“It’s clear that we have a strong package with the Ford, but we are still learning all the time and the aim is to use the gap we have before Oulton Park to go away and do a test.
“That will allow us to work on a few things to improve our performance further, especially when it comes to qualifying, and then we can come out fighting and challenge for the kind of results that the team deserves for the work that we’ve put in so far.”