Weather frustrates Wood, Newsham
Cold weather thwarted Lea Wood and Dave Newsham’s test in the Speedworks Motorsport team’s Toyota Avensis at Donington Park today.
Wood and Newsham, both emerging stars of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, felt they were unable to wring the most from the car because of bitterly cold temperatures.
A broken driveshaft – quickly fixed – delayed Wood initially. Newsham later suffered a high-speed but harmless spin into the gravel trap down the Craner Curves section of the Leicestershire track.
Hereford’s Wood told btcc.net: “I also had a quick spin exiting Redgate – the rear tyres have actually been losing temperature as we’ve gone round – but otherwise the test actually went very well. Speedworks have done a fabulous job all day and are a pleasure to work with.
“It’s been very interesting to finally drive an NGTC-spec car. The mid-corner grip and exit speed is considerably greater than an S2000 car, like the Vauxhall Vectra I’ve raced in 2012. There’s a lot less drop-off in tyre performance over a race distance. It would be great to be in one of these in 2013…”
And commented Newsham: “The cold has made it very tricky – in fact it’s been colder at Donington that it was when I left home in Inverness early this morning for the flight down here!
“It’s been impossible to get any heat into the rear tyres, particularly as it’s not an abrasive track surface as well. The spin down Craner Curves was a bit of a setback and I actually came away thinking the car was difficult to drive but, having gone through things with the team, we’re all now convinced it’s down to the temperatures It’s meant I’ve not yet been able to really establish what an NGTC car can do. I'd love another go, Speedworks!"
Team principal Christian Dick added: “Both drivers have been great to work with – very professional. Their times were also impossibly close and I’m not just saying that because it sounds nice in the media! Genuinely, they were very evenly matched. They are also right in saying the weather hasn’t helped. Even I’ve felt cold and I’m from up North!”
Also on track at Donington today was the tech-speed team with the first appearance of its NGTC turbo-engined S2000 Chevrolet Cruze (see separate story).