Dave Newsham scored a top ten finish in all three British Touring Car races at Snetterton, threatening to take a maiden podium in the final race of the day before falling back in the final laps.
The Inverness based driver spent much of the day in the lower reaches of the top ten. Having started from eighth for the first race a bent suspension arm limited him to tenth place and a single point in the opening race, losing several seconds a lap in the closing stages of the race.
“Something broke on the left front and I was just hanging in then,” said Newsham, “struggling to go round the right handers. It felt awful! But I'm pleased to get another point to add to the tally.”
Newsham lost ninth place to Tom Onslow-Cole at the Montreal hairpin before managing to keep Jeff Smith's Pirtek Racing Vectra at bay to salvage a single point. Starting from tenth for the second race another good result looked possible when Dave ended the opening lap in sixth, having escaped the bumping at the head of the field that ultimately knocked Frank Wrathall out of the race and promoted Newsham to fifth.
However, again the final laps from prove costly for Newsham, now struggling with a lack of grip from worn tyres. Having defended his position for much of the race Paul O'Neill and Mat Jackson were able to slip by and demote Newsham to seventh, which was turned into pole position in the reverse grid draw.
Not for the first time Newsham's drive revolved around his defensive racecraft as he kept reigning champion Jason Plato behind him in fourth place as he looked on course for third, but Plato finally completed the move on the penultimate lap.
Matt Neal followed by the following lap to leave Newsham in the clutches of Alex MacDowall who, with a show of robust driving at the final corner pushed the SEAT driver wide a stream of drivers following past, demoting Newsham to eighth.
“I got a great start, but I think the rears must have been a bit cold at the beginning of the second lap and I just lost the back end,” reported Newsham. “I was pleased with the car's pace and held off the Chevys for a long while but I struggled on that hairpin today and they took loads of time from me there. Then about 5 laps from the end, something appeared to break at the rear, and the car was close to undriveable. I hung on again, but it was a bit of a downer to finish like that. It's been a great day though and we've been really competitive and put points in the bag in all three races, so I'm really pleased about that. We can go to Knockhill positive that we've got a great car!”
Special Tuning Racing teammate Tom Boardman suffered a disastrous weekend. An engine problem cost him any chance at qualifying, so was forced to start the first race from the rear of the grid.
Nonetheless Boardman had climbed into the top ten – running just behind Newsham after just a few laps before recurrence of the engine woes forced him to retire. The damage done proved to be too serious to repair ruling him out of the remaining two races of the weekend.