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Dave Newsham takes positives into summer break

AmD Tuning’s Dave Newsham was able to look on the bright side of another weekend of what could have been, as he left Yorkshire after the British Touring Car Championship’s annual visit to Croft.

There were plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the Inverness-based racer and his outfit as they headed into the weekend, with an improved front-end of the car being introduced as well the weekend’s second race marking Newsham’s 100th in the series.

And it looked as though Newsham would have cause to celebrate the occasion, as he secured an 11th-placed finish in the day’s first race, advancing five positions from his grid slot.

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But any such hopes were quickly dashed in the second race, as a fast-starting Rob Austin was squeezed between the 46-year-old and Airwaves Racing’s Fabrizio Giovanardi, forcing Newsham to retire his Ford Focus.

That put Newsham in a corner for race three, and with an issue early in the race, his recovery was limited to 16th place, just outside the points, which leaves him 17th in the championship standings.

But Newsham remained positive after the weekend, as he felt the progress that the team’s latest updates had made, coupled with the five-week mid-season break gave him reason to believe the squad could expect a better second half of the season.

“Although we didn’t get the results we were hoping for this weekend, I think we’ve taken a step forwards in our performance,” said Newsham. “The opening race was solid and we showed strong pace in the car but race two was a massive disappointment – especially as it was my 100th race in the series.

“That put us on the back foot for race three and early on I could smell burning and there was smoke in the car so I pitted. The guys checked things over and all was okay so I rejoined and managed to get through to 16th, although we were lacking a bit of balance.

“Overall, the first half of the season hasn’t gone as we hoped as we’ve been involved in too many incidents. Some of those have been down to me and some down to others, while it’s also taken me a bit longer to get used to the Ford than I thought it would.

“However, the upgrades we have introduced have improved the car, and I think we can come out fighting and push for a strong second half to the season.”

Team Boss Shaun Hollamby followed his driver’s lead in insisting that positives could be taken from the meeting, but stressed that the squad still has work to do if they are to move further up the pecking order.

“The upgrades did what we hoped they would this weekend, and some drastic set-up changes also helped with the performance of the car,” he said. “The first race was what we need to do more. We stayed out of trouble and Dave drove well to bring home points, but then race two was one of those racing incidents that we have got caught up in a few too many times this season and it left us on the back foot.

“This is probably the most competitive season there has been in the BTCC for at least 15 years and its important that we don’t forget that, but at the same time, we were hoping for more in terms of results at this stage of the year.

“The saying goes that you make your own luck, but I think we deserve a change in ours in the second half of the season. We know we have a strong car and can look forwards to Snetterton as it’s a circuit where the Ford has gone well, and also where Dave has won in the past.”

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