BTC Norlin Racing ready to move up a gear
BTC Norlin Racing’s Chris Smiley and Dave Newsham are looking to get things back on track this weekend after a minor blip in form back at Oulton Park last month.
The team has been a consistent points-finisher this campaign, currently standing seventh in the Independents’ chart, and Newsham sealed the outfit’s best result so far at Donington Park with fourth. As it was, he narrowly missed out on a podium place – a three-car final corner tussle denying the fledgling squad maiden silverware. All concerned are striving to recapture that high.
Croft Circuit is known as a technical challenge, one relished by BTCC drivers up and down the grid, and is up there amongst the toughest of tests offered up by the championship’s 10-race calendar of events. Newsham believes Norlin can bag a result.
“It’s a top venue to race at and it’s an exciting prospect for a driver,” said Newsham. “I know that if we drive as well as we did in the season’s opening handful or rounds, we can be right up there in the mix. We’ve shown flashes and we’re looking to get back to scoring good points.”
That Donington promise leads Newsham to believe the team have a solid base to build from in the hunt for a top-ten spot in the Teams’ running, as he looks to build on seventh in the Independent Drivers’ championship.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be hunting for podiums and certainly strong results from the reversed-grid races over the latter part of the season. The pace is there in the car, as we saw back in Leicestershire. We’ll be working hard to unlock it.”
Putting aside what was a disappointing Oulton Park three weeks ago, Smiley is looking to continue progress in the Independent Drivers’ standings – the Northern Irishman currently harbours 15th place.
Despite that Oulton low, Smiley remains upbeat, given good progress made through the field up to 20th spot come the final round in Cheshire, after race one technical issues left him moored to the rear of the grid for race two.
“I’m really looking forward to taking on Croft, its always a challenge,” said Smiley. “I’m a personal fan – it was the first ever circuit I secured a pole position at, so I’m hoping it’s as kind to me again.
“Things could have gone better at Oulton. We had a fuel pressure issue with the car and we had to work away from the back of the grid but we did make good progress.
“Teams will be looking to build up a little haul of points ahead of the mid-season break, so it’s important Dave (Newsham) and I score as best we can.”
Team Owner, Stephen Symington, added: “We are continuing to learn and develop the cars at each round, and we’re hopeful that Croft can provide us with a few more opportunities to show what we can do.”