A pessimistic ES Racing are anticipating a tough trio of Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Rockingham.

Team boss Chris James propped up the timesheets in qualifying and blamed the boost equalisation system – labelling it a “disgrace” – for the team’s struggles, with Dave Newsham, who won the third races at Snetterton and Knockhill, down in 13th.

James believes they team can make some progress in the races but is not holding out much hope for a repeat of the success in previous rounds.

“I’m confident we will get more out the car,” he said to theCheckeredFlag.co.uk, “our race pace is much quicker and I felt much better on older tyres. We’ve gone back to that set-up and with brand new tyres I’m happy, I think we can gain some time.

“But the boost reduction is a disgrace. It’s stupid, we’re getting killed. Dave’s won race, he’s not a P13 driver but he’s P13 on the grid. I’m last on the grid, so I’m confident I can make up some places, and Dave’s got good racecraft – but I think he’ll struggle to get in the top ten every race. Even if he got a reverse grid pole he’d probably do well to finish in the top six or eight.”

Newsham was not looking forward to Rockingham after struggling here last year in his Seat, but said the gap between the new and old cars was more about the bigger NGTC tyres.

“It’s through the infield the tyres are killing us,” he explain. “I followed Plato and he pulled a clear second. I think it’s going to be a case of staying out of trouble, pick up points and get out of here.

“This is not a circuit for the S2000s – any track with high tyre wear is bad for the old cars – but maybe we’ll get some boost back for Silverstone; this was always gonna be a bad one.”