prepared for new challenge

26th March 2014 will contest the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with an NGTC car for the first time in 2014. With race-winner Dave Newsham at the wheel, the Thurrock-based squad has acquired a Ford Focus prepared by Motorbase Performance and is looking to quickly get up to speed with the new driver/car combination.

Tests at Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Donington Park have allowed new signing Dave Newsham to get to grips with the Ford Focus, which will be making its race debut in colours during the weekend ahead.

With a bumper grid of 31 cars featuring no fewer than seven series champions, the season opener will give the team the first chance to see where it stands in the pecking order after rain hit the only official pre-season test at Donington last week. Inverness-based racer Newsham is keen to get down to business as he begins what will be his fourth season in the championship since making his debut back in 2011.

“Pre-season testing has gone okay and we know we have good race pace as we go to Brands Hatch,” the two-time BTCC race winner, who took pole for the opening rounds of the season at Brands Hatch two years ago, said. “We had a small brake issue at Donington last week and then the rain meant we didn't get to show our hand so we don't really know where we stand, but the aim for me is to try and bring home a top six finish from the weekend. That won't be easy given the strength of the grid, but it is certainly achievable, although our focus at this stage of the season has to be on making sure we get three finishes and points on the board.

“I think I've settled into the team well so far, and it's helped that I've worked with some of the guys before in the past when I was racing elsewhere. I'm really excited to be involved with and can't wait for the first round to get underway.” team boss Shaun Hollamby said he too was excited about getting the 2014 campaign started.

“It will be a weird feeling when we roll up at Brands Hatch and bring the Focus out of the truck after four seasons running our VW Golf, but these are exciting times for us as a team,” he said. “Pre-season testing has gone well and has allowed Dave to settle in with the team, while also giving us the opportunity to learn about the new NGTC car. Although you never know what programme others are doing, we've focused on the list of jobs we had to do and feel we are in a good position going into the opening rounds.

“I don't doubt that this season will be the most competitive we have faced since joining the BTCC back in 2010, but with the package we have in the Ford and with Dave at the wheel, we are ready for the challenge that lies ahead. Dave has shown his pace at Brands Hatch in the past and hopefully we can put in a strong display to start our season on a high.”

You can watch all the weekend’s racing action live and in HD on ITV4 from 10:30am on Sunday, and tickets are still available to purchase at advanced prices from the Brands Hatch website!

Check out this team video from last week's Season Launch: © 2024
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