Speedworks save the best until last at Brands


SPEEDWORKS Motorsport savoured its best race result of the season during the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s final round at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

Dave Newsham matched the Cheshire outfit’s previous highest finish when he placed fourth at the end of the second sprint, a drive that secured for him tenth position in the drivers’ championship.

He also delivered for Speedworks, in tandem with teammate Ollie Jackson, the biggest points haul of the campaign on a race day in both the HiQ Teams Championship and the Independents Team Trophy.

“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.”

Newsham, quickest driver in the first free practice session on Saturday with Jackson a close second, celebrated a personal best finish in his Toyota Avensis in race two.

The Inverness-based driver said changes to the car’s set-up helped propel him up the order by the end of a rain-hit sprint.

“We went through the data from race one and made a lot of tweaks. The car felt mega right from the start,” he said.

After a slow start, he climbed to eighth by the end of the second lap before claiming a further two places when Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing Toyota Avensis) slid wide at Paddock Hill.

The 46-year-old then passed the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus of both Tom Onslow-Cole and Aron Smith to take over fourth position by halfway.

He had struggled for front-end grip in race one, finishing where he had qualified – in 11th place.

Newsham, his machine carrying success ballast, followed that with sixth in the finale.

He added: “The car wasn’t as good in race three, but it was still a solid result.

“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 almost concluded the campaign as he had started it; with a top ten finish at Brands. However he had to settle for 11th in race three after chasing Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing M6) during the closing stages.

His involvement in race one ended early after a shunt from Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing Ford Focus) propelled him into Jake Hill’s Exocet Racing Audi A4 at Graham Hill, breaking a driveshaft.

The 29-year-old, now living in Redditch, climbed seven places from his starting position to claim 13th place in race two.

He said: “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. It’s annoying; every time it has felt like things are looking up, bad luck strikes again.”

Speedworks completes its third full season in the series placed fifth in the Independents Team Trophy and seventh in the HiQ Teams Championship, both a significant improvement on last year.

Words: Andy Simpson. Picture: MJP Media

To see pictures charting our BTCC weekend at Brands Hatch, plus individual race reports, visit our Facebook page at SpeedworksMS