Sunday, August 12 2012
Dave Newsham has taken a popular win in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Snetterton. The Inverness-based driver has shown superb pace throughout the year and his victory ends a long run of success from NGTC-specification cars.
Lea Wood's start was good enough to convert pole into the lead, with Newsham making a poor getaway, letting the BMW of Tom Onslow-Cole into second, whilst Mat Jackson took fourth. Meanwhile halfway round lap one, Matt Neal's race fell apart as he clashed with a fighting Frank Wrathall.
With Newsham soon regaining second place, Wood pulled away to lead lap one. There was a gap behind Jackson, and Gordon Shedden held fifth from Andrew Jordan and Jason Plato. Meanwhile Newsham had dropped Onslow-Cole and was off in search of Wood, whilst Jackson promoted himself ahead of the BMW.
The early laps were reminiscent of the past as two Vectras led the field by some way, Newsham now providing a real threat to Wood, who was having to drive defensively. A move around the outside at Riches was completed at Montreal after Newsham swapped sides, whilst Jackson and Shedden disputed third, to Onslow-Cole's benefit. The BMW grabbed fourth place, with Jordan and Plato looking on.
Plato passed Jordan at Hamilton and went after the squabbling Shedden, Onslow-Cole and Jackson. Behind Jordan, Aron Smith held on to the pack as Neal re-entered the points at half-distance, and took advantage of a fight between Robert Collard and Rob Austin to haul himself up to tenth place.
Then a mistake from Jackson let three cars through, leaving him in Jordan's sights and in the leading pack, Wood was also under attack, and as Onslow-Cole and Shedden passed the Vectra, gearbox problems ended his day. With Newsham's buffer now gone, he had three laps left to hold onto his lead.
With two laps to go, the gap was 2.8 seconds but the fight between Onslow-Cole, Shedden and the rest would hold the key to the outcome of the race. With the attacking Civic forcing the BMW driver to go defensive, Newsham gained a couple of tenths on the penultimate lap.
Onslow-Cole clawed it back on the last lap but it wasn't enough and Newsham took a well-received victory from Onslow-Cole and Shedden. Plato held off Jackson for fourth, with Jordan, Smith and Wrathall holding station. Neal salvaged ninth, with Collard a fighting tenth, nearly taking the place from the champion at the end.
With no wins for the works Hondas, Shedden was hit by a shock disqualification after failing post-race checks for exceeding turbo boost limits. Meanwhile Newsham's win completes a successful weekend for Triple 8, for not only have they closed the gap to the leaders, but the winning Vectra was built by the team when they represented Vauxhall on the grid.
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race 3
1, Dave Newsham, Team ES Racing, Vauxhall Vectra, 12 Laps
2, Tom Onslow-Cole, eBay Motors, BMW 320si, +0.991s
3, Jason Plato, MG Racing, MG6, +3.066s
4, Mat Jackson, Redstone Racing, Ford Focus, +5.130s
5, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Honda Civic, +5.444s
6, Aron Smith, Redstone Racing, Ford Focus, +6.898s
7, Frank Wrathall, Dynojet, Toyota Avensis, +9.676s
8, Matt Neal, Honda Racing, Honda Civic, +18.863s
9, Rob Collard, eBay Motors, BMW 320si, +19.074s
10, Adam Morgan, Speedworks, Toyota Avensis, +23.968s
The next major event at Snetterton is the Delphi British Truck Racing Championship on 26/27 August. Tickets are available from £17, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.