Dave Newsham ready for race 100
Dave Newsham is revving up for his 100th BTCC race this weekend, as the Inverness-based driver is currently just two contests shy of a century in Britain’s leading motor sport series.
The AmD racer admits to be ‘living in a dream’ when he considers his BTCC career, which has so far brought a number of highs and lows.
“That’s motor sport,” declares Dave. “You can have good days and bad days, particularly in a championship as tough as this one.”
Newsham’s highs have been unforgettable of course, and none more so than his two race victories in the 2012 season.
“The first win stands out,” reflects Newsham on his maiden BTCC success at Snetterton. “Then we went to Knockhill and we were having a tough weekend, but it all came together for another victory at my home circuit. It was a sensational time and I have six trophies from that season. It was a credit to the team and the Vauxhall Vectra – it was a great car at the end of the S2000 period.”
Just over a year previous to that and Newsham was lining up for his first ever Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch.
“It was so nerve wracking,” he recalls. “It was like playing one of the old TOCA computer games being in the same race as people like Jason Plato and Matt Neal. It was so surreal and I just wanted to keep out of trouble to be honest. So to be beating those guys just a year later was incredible.”
Newsham is at his fifth team in four seasons and admits the stress of completing a deal over the winter always makes things difficult. Now settled at the Essex-based AmD Tuning squad, however, Newsham is buoyant as he prepares for his 100th race at Croft and a long-term future in the series.
“It’s really stressful in the off-season to be honest and it was never the plan to move around,” he concludes. “I had a great relationship with the guys at Speedworks for example but it just wasn’t meant to be for this year. That said I’ve found a great bunch of guys at AmD and I’m really happy with the way things are going.
“We don’t have the budget to test like some of the other teams but we still believe we can do it and challenge at the top. We don’t quite have the pace over one lap in qualifying and we’re working hard on that, but we definitely have the race pace. Aron Smith proved it can be done at Oulton Park and that would be the plan for us if we could sneak a kind reverse grid draw I think we have the speed to stay there.
“I have to pinch myself sometimes as it’s still a dream to be in the best championship in the country. It wouldn’t be possible without my sponsors of course and I’m so grateful to be doing something that I really enjoy. This was a series I watched for years and never imagined I could be a part of it – now to be approaching my 100th race is just incredible.”