AmD Tuning’s Dave Newsham is hoping for a ‘good result’ to mark his 100th race in the British Touring Car Championship at Croft this weekend.
A strong finish would also make up for the 46-year-old’s early exit at the previous round of the season at Oulton Park, where contact with Jack Goff put the team’s Ford Focus in the barrier and marked the first time since the penultimate round of the 2011 season that Newsham failed to score a point across the weekend.
But with his mechanics having repaired the damage to the machine, Newsham was optimistic that he could aim for the top ten, at a track he enjoys.
“I’m looking forward to Croft as it’s one of my favourite circuits on the calendar,” said Newsham. “It’s quite hard on tyres but one of the strengths of our car is that it is good on its tyres, so that could help us on race day.
“Hopefully the weather will be dry so we can work on our qualifying pace, but Croft is a circuit where it is possible to pass and to work your way forwards through the field.
“Even if we don’t qualify as high as we want, we can still look to race forwards, and we know we have a car that will allow us to push towards the top ten.”
Sunday’s final race – the 15th of the 2014 season – will see the Inverness-based driver make his 100th start in the series, something that he admitted he did not expect to do when he made his debut in 2011 with the Geoff Steel Racing squad.
“It’ll be nice to hit 100 races at Croft as I didn’t think it was a mark I would reach when I first joined the BTCC,” he said. “It’s fantastic for me to be here and hopefully I can celebrate the landmark with a good result to make sure we go into the summer break on a high.”
The early exit from Oulton Park has resulted in some changes for the team coming into this weekend, with the squad electing to bring forward the introduction of the team’s 2014 aero package which includes a revised front end.
With the car now in the same specification as the Focuses run by fellow competitors Airwaves Racing (who secured a double podium finish at Thruxton), Team Boss Shaun Hollamby was eager to see how his revamped machine would perform.
“We decided not to fit the 2014 upgrades at the start of the year as we wanted to see what impact they had,” said Hollamby. “Our plan was to update the car during the summer break, but following the accident at Oulton Park, it made sense to do it now and debut the revised front end at Croft. It’ll be interesting to see what impact the update has, as we’ll now be able to measure ourselves more directly with the guys at Motorbase.
“We learned a lot again at Oulton Park despite what happened, and the aim for this weekend is to have three trouble free race and pick up some points. We know we have to try and qualify better, and even though I’m not sure it’ll be the strongest circuit for our car, I’m confident that Dave will be able to get the job done on Sunday and bring home some points before the summer break.”