BTCC 2011 Team-By-Team Preview: Geoff Steel Racing

No.17 Dave Newsham
BMW 320i
S2000 chassis and engine

The Clio Cup champion joins Geoff Steel Racing on their return to the championship, taking ownership of the BMWs that ran in Airwaves colours last year.

Newsham was dominant in a small field of Clios last season and a winter (and more) of work has seen him land the BTCC he has made no secret of chasing. Newsham – in a known car, especially in the hands of GSR, a squad with a long association with BMW machinery.

However, while known the BMW started to show its age last year, keeping Airwaves' win count down to two and keeping WSR off the top step of the podium altogether the year after they powered Colin Turkington to the title.

The changes to the championship of the winter – notably the proliferation of newly engineered NGTC cars and engines is only likely to widen the gap. However, like the other S2000 engined cars Newsham will be ready to pounce on any teething problems early in the season.

Though a second driver the team had hoped to start the season with has fallen foul of budget problems, the team still has a second car ready for a driver.

Team Manager Martyn Bell On…….Taking advantage of turbo troubles
“The BMW's not old hat – people are writing this car off and if we get a little bit of a weight break and a power break. There's a lot of these turbo car, we don't know how they're going to manage their tyres. The times aren't as good as what you'd expect and the tyres are going to be another thing. I think the first half of the season there might be some cheap points and cheap results to have if we have our house in order.”

Dave Newsham On…..His aims for his debut season
“We want to be a top-ten for the season and that'd be a pretty good first season. You never know, these cars have got good race pace so you never know we could surprise people.”

Verdict: BMW may be old, but Newsham could spring a few suprises.