Fan-favourite Dave Newsham will race a Speedworks Motorsport run NGTC Toyota Avensis in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Newsham tested for the team last month at Donington Park and despite frustrations said he was pleased with the car and the team.

Having previously piloted only S2000 machinery, the 45-year-old is eager to race an up-to-date car so he can challenge for the title.

He said: “It was a good test, and it gave me the chance to see how the Speedworks engineers work. I have every faith in the team and its staff that they are going to deliver me a quick car and that we will work together well. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be right at the sharp end.

“I have to say a massive thank you to Tony Hughes for his help in putting me in a great car for the coming season. Tony has done a great job driving for Speedworks for the last two seasons and without his help I don’t think that I would have been able to do this deal. The Hughes Safety Showers name will be loud and proud on the Toyota.”

Team principal Christian Dick also gave Lea Wood  a run in the Avensis at Donington but there has been no announcement yet of the team’s second driver.

However, he said the deal to run Newsham had been long in the making.

“We have tried to do something with Dave for the last couple of years but for one reason or another it hasn’t come off,” he revealed. “Finally pulling it off for 2013 is great and we are excited for the potential results.

“Dave is no slouch – he’s proved his pace this season, kept out of trouble and scored some good results. He will be one of the front-running drivers next year and we are all very excited about working with him.”

The double BTCC race winner will race the Hughes Safety Shower car, following the departure of Tony Hughes, with backing from No Fear Extreme Energy and his own company Coffeedrops, the colours of which he has run since entering the series.