Newsham completes BTC Norlin Racing line-up
Race-winner Dave Newsham will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship next season at the wheel of a BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze.
The Inverness-based ace will line up alongside Chris Smiley in the team’s two cars, and both will begin a 2017 test programme shortly after Christmas.
Newsham raced the same Chevrolet when it was run by the Power Maxed Racing outfit at two meetings last season, scoring points in five out of the six races he contested.
The 49-year-old, who has featured in the BTCC since 2011, said he was thrilled to have been given the chance to compete with the Bert Taylor-run BTC Norlin Racing squad.
“To have been selected for this drive is unreal for me,” reflected two-time race-winner Newsham. “The team has some very solid foundations and there is a real desire to win from all parties. This will be the first time I will go into a season with a car that I know, so I am full of optimism.
“There are some great people assembled at the team, including my engineer Steve Brady. The elements are there for us to take some real steps forward in terms of performance.
“We will get some pre-season testing done too, and there are areas of the car that we can develop from my time driving it in 2016. I know I have got to go out there and perform – the pressure is on, but I am ready for the challenge.
“I am very grateful to Bert Taylor and the guys at Norlin for the chance to get back on the grid. I am going to do my very best to justify their faith in me.”
Taylor said he was thrilled that Newsham had agreed to drive for the team, and that his input into the initiative could help to push the entire programme towards the front of the field.
“It was important for us to get a driver with race-winning experience, and Dave was at the very top of the list of drivers we wanted,” he revealed. “When we started putting this deal together, we knew he would be the perfect fit.
“Dave showed how good he is when he stepped into the car for a couple of rounds last season and was challenging for the top six straightaway. That is the class that he has. We have a testing programme mapped out and we can’t wait to get to work.”
Stephen Symington, co-owner of Norlin added: “We are delighted with this announcement, and Dave is a perfect ambassador for BTC Norlin Racing and co-sponsor Propiteer.
“We have great experience in the technical team and now we have added a second driver who is world-class. Everyone in the sport thinks very highly of Dave, including the fans, and he was therefore our top target once we had bought the team.”