Dave Newsham is to miss this weekend's BTCC races at Thruxton after switching to Special Tuning Racing from Geoff Steel Racing.

Newsham – the reigning Clio Cup champion – scored points in his first BTCC race in GSR's ex-Motorbase BMW 320i at Brands Hatch but after only six races that relationship appears to have broken down after 'irreconcilable differences' and the Inverness based driver will join Tom Boardman in an STR Seat Leon from Oulton Park onwards.

“Dave contacted us earlier in the week and we've negotiated for him to drive with STR for the remainder of the season,” said Special Tuning team principal John Boardman on the team's website. “He'll be making the switch from a RWD BMW to the FWD SEAT and wants to test the car before competing, so won't be racing at Thruxton, but we're confident that his experience driving the FWD Clio will stand him good stead.”

“I am sorry for Geoff Steel and the guys within the team,” Newsham explains. “However circumstances made it impossible for us to continue with them. I personally enjoyed working with them, and I wish them well in their future ventures”.

“I am very excited about the change to STR,” he added. “I have met the team at their HQ in Forton, and was very impressed with their set-up and car preparation. The Seat Leon looks quick in Tom's hands and it has a strong turbo charged engine. All the ingredients are there for us to have a great remainder of the season.”

Newsham is expected to test his new car before the BTCC races at Oulton Park on June 5.

Artist's impression of Newsham's STR Seat