Dave Newsham hailed his “unbelievable” victory after becoming the newest Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race winner in the final event of the day at Snetterton.
He was greeted with cheers and adulation from his team, fans and rivals as he walked back through the paddock, and the popular Scot – who wrote off his chances of securing a maiden win not long ago – was delighted his race went to plan.
“Bloody brilliant,” a jubilant Newsham told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk. “I thought if we could get past Lea [Wood] early on perhaps we might just get the win – that was my plan, get past fairly sharp and just stick with it from there, and try and edge away.”
After qualifying strongly yesterday, it all looked to be going against him after a fine drive to fourth in race one went unrewarded as he was excluded for being underweight – something ES Racing team manager Chris James said they were still trying to get their heads round at the end of the day.
Then in race two, his fight through to field to eighth took its toll on the tyres, leaving Newsham uncertain of how he would fare in the final race of the day.
“In the second race the tyres went off quite early on because I had to get through traffic. I was very mindful of looking after the tyres. But the pace was really consistent, it never went off, so I just had to keep that concentration, keep minding the gap.
“I’m not saying I could have gone any faster – but I think I drove a good race.”
James, who said the team had experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows in Norfolk after he suffered three DNFs, was equally thrilled.
“ES Racing are a BTCC race-winning team”, he said to TCF. “That says it all ready. It’s amazing. On one-fiftieth of the budget of the bigger teams, and now we’re winning races.
“The team have given Dave a quality car, and he’s proven himself a quality racing driver. It’s just the complete package coming together!”
It was a win which Newsham has been waiting for since he entered the championship, one which many feel was cruelly taken away from him in the opening race of the season. Now, though, there is reason to celebrate.
“My brother has a house in Great Yarmouth,” he said. “I think we’ll be going out…and we may just drink ourselves silly.”