Speedworks head to Snetterton with momentum


SPEEDWORKS Motorsport can set their sights on a maiden podium finish when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign resumes at Snetterton this weekend.

That’s the view of team principal Christian Dick after Dave Newsham recorded season-best results at Oulton Park and Croft – where he was sixth and fifth respectively – before the summer break.

The Inverness-based ace is hopeful too that history will repeat itself at the Norfolk circuit, scene of his first race win in the series during the corresponding round last year.

“Right now is probably the best we’ve felt in terms of driver and car combination,” said Dick.

“Dave was able to score well in each of the past two rounds when we were in and around the top six – in terms of the Toyota’s pace – throughout.

“The challenge now is to improve once more to get that elusive first podium.”

Newsham, 46, tested at Snetterton last week following his return from a holiday.

Before that his teammate Ollie Jackson had spent time on track during the official two-day tyre trial.

Dick said: “We’ve made a bit of progress both times, although it’s probably true to say not as much as we did when testing earlier in the season.

“But with more than a month between race meetings in the middle of the season, then the chance to get behind the wheel can never be a bad thing.

“It’s difficult to gauge where the most recent test leaves us in relation to the rest of the field; that’s something we’ll learn more about at the weekend.”

Jackson rated his weekend at Croft last time out as the worst since he joined the series two years ago.

Already disappointed to have qualified only 20th, he was forced to retire on the fourth lap of race one after the engine expired on his Avensis.

Speedworks’ mechanics worked flat out to install a replacement in time for the day’s final sprint, only for the 29-year-old’s participation to be cut short on the opening circuit after his machine aquaplaned off the track at the hairpin.

That makes him doubly-determined to do well at a circuit he used to call home when based in nearby Attleborough before a change of job prompted a switch to the Midlands during the summer break.

“Ollie is fired up,” said Dick.

“He feels pretty good after the two-day test at Snetterton last month, and mentally he’s in a much better place than when leaving Croft at the end of the previous round.

“We know what he’s capable of – his qualifying times are regularly on the cusp of the top 10 – and he’ll score points provided luck doesn’t desert him again.”

Speedworks arrive in Norfolk placed sixth in the Independent Teams Trophy standings and eighth overall in the HiQ Teams Championship.

Snetterton hosts three sprint races on Sunday afternoon, with each to be broadcast live on ITV4 and itv.com from 1115.

Words: Andy Simpson. Picture: Matt Sayle Photography.

To see timetable for the action at Snetterton, including three sprint races on Sunday click here

To follow the progress of Dave Newsham and Ollie Jackson on track this weekend - in words and pictures - keep an eye our Facebook page at SpeedworksMS