Newsham confident ahead of milestone race
Dave Newsham will contest his 100th Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race later today (29 June) at Croft, and despite a difficult qualifying session the centurion-to-be is confident of progress.
Having run inside the top ten during free practice, the AMDtuning.com squad was pleased with the steps forward that followed updates to the aerodynamic package on the Ford Focus, however with new tyres in qualifying the Inverness-based racer found himself combatting understeer and just outside the top 15. There was even more pressure than usual too, as his car failed a ride height check mid-way through the session meaning all his times to that point were disallowed. This left him with just enough time to get back out and secure his grid slot, but even with the added pressure he was just a tenth shy of being the fastest Ford.
“It’s fantastic to get to 100 races – it’s an impressive number and after scraping through the first season I never imagined I’d be here today and I hope I’m still here for 200,” said Newsham. “The Ford was off the pace last year and to be honestwe had a difficult session today. We looked like we were on the money in practice so we were pretty confident ahead of qualifying, but as soon as we put new tyres on it we had understeer – there was too much rear grip. Add to that the extra pressure of having to get a lap in at the end having failed the ride height and it’s not too bad.
“I think the new front end has helped, it’s put us on the same page as the guys in the Airwaves cars and it was the first time we’ve out-qualified Giovanardi. We’ve been on a par already in race trim this year, so maybe we can go a bit quicker now! We’ve just got to chip away and get into the top ten in the first two races. If we get a decent reversed-grid draw who knows what’ll happen!”