The final round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship gave Speedworks Motorsport something to smile about, as Dave Newsham produced the team’s best result of the season at Brands Hatch.
The Toyota Avensis squad ended the year without a podium finish to their name, but Newsham continued his strong recent run of form in the latter half of the season by concluding with two top-six finishes on his way to 10th in the championship, the team leaving 2013 on a high note.
“We wanted to finish on a high and I think we managed to,” said team principal Christian Dick.
“For the second successive meeting, there has been a Speedworks car at the sharp end holding its own against the front-runners on track. That gives us great heart considering the improvement in performance has come from making significant set-up changes on a race weekend, and adjusting those accordingly as we go along.”
The Speedworks squad started the weekend in fine style with Newsham and Ollie Jackson topping first practice on Saturday, but come qualifying the pair lined up 11th and 15th respectively on the grid for the season’s final triple-header of races.
Having finished in the same position in race one on a Sunday hit by inclement weather conditions, Newsham then charged through to fourth place in race two having avoided early chaos involving eventual champion Andrew Jordan, passing the two Airwaves Racing Ford Focus machines of Tom Onslow-Cole and Aron Smith to secure a personal best result of 2013.
“We went through the data from race one and made a lot of tweaks. The car felt mega right from the start,” said Newsham.
The Inverness driver backed that result up in the season finale with sixth place to secure a top 10 position in the championship table, a more glimmering conclusion to a season the Toyota man admitted he felt was frustrating on occasions.
“The car wasn’t as good in race three, but it was still a solid result”, concluded Newsham. “There have been some frustrating moments earlier in the year, so it’s great to finish the season strongly and being competitive. It’s not bad to finish tenth overall in the drivers’ championship either.”
Jackson meanwhile had to recover from an incident in race one with Jake Hill‘s Exocet Racing Audi at Graham Hill Bend that left him with suspension damage, fighting to an 11th place finish in race three, saying afterwards: “It’s a shame I couldn’t sneak inside the top ten in the final race. I was on course to do that in race one too”.