Fan favourite Dave Newsham will return to the British Touring Car Championship in 2017 as he completes the BTC Norlin Racing’s line up.
Newsham will line up with Chris Smiley as the Irish team makes it return to the BTCC, racing in the same Chevrolet Cruze he drove for two rounds in 2016.
“To have been selected for this drive is unreal for me,” said 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.”
The Inverness based driver has been a part of the BTCC grid since 2011, when he made his debut with Geoff Steel Racing and Special Tuning Racing. At the end of 2015, Newsham was unable to secure a budget for the following season, but was able to make two appearances in the 2016 season as a replacement for Kelvin Fletcher at Knockhill and Rockingham.
Newsham took twenty eight points from the six races.
“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,” said Bert Taylor, team principal. “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 straight away. That is the class that he has. We have a testing programme planned out and we can’t wait to get to work.”
Even though Newsham has driven the car before, his best finish a P7 at Knockhill, the 49 year old admitted thee is still work to be done.
“There are areas of the car that we can develop from my time driving it in 2016,” he said. “I know I have got to go out there and perform – the pressure is on, but I am ready for the challenge.”
Feature image credit: Caroline Rhea