Reigning Renault Clio Cup champion Dave Newsham will make his British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) debut this season after securing a driver with series returnees Geoff Steel Racing.

Newsham clinched the one make championship's title at Knockhill last season before making a one meeting outing in the Ginetta G50 Cup at Brands Hatch in October. He has made no secret that his aim has been a BTCC drive.

“I am delighted to have secured this drive, although I don't think it has fully sunk in yet,” Newsham says. “We had a fantastic 2010 season winning the Clio Cup Championship, however I am under no illusions, this is a big step up for me, and moving back to rear wheel drive will take some adjusting to.”

“The car makes a big difference in BTCC, and I hope that Geoff Steel Racing can give me a competitive package. If they do, then I am sure we will be up there… We are not doing BTCC simply to make up the numbers. I have never completed a season's racing without winning at least one race, so my aim is to keep this record going.”

Geoff Steel Racing, returning to the championship after three years away, will run a pair of BMW 3 Series acquired from Motorbase Performance over the winter. The teams second driver remains unconfirmed, though when TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk spoke to team manager Martyn Bell last week he was able to confirm a potential driver was working towards gaining the budget necessary.

“Personally I have admired Dave's professionalism and driving ability for some time now, making me really look forward to some giant killing performances this year,” said Bell of Newsham. “It's great to have him on board.”

Newsham is scheduled to complete two days of testing prior to the BTCC media day on March 24. The first of ten race weekends is at Brands Hatch on April 2-3.