MOTORSPORT: WEST Thurrock’s team were trying to make the most of a vital test day this week on the back of a tough sixth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

The West Thurrock-based team went into the weekend at Snetterton seeking to impress as the 2014 campaign resumed after the summer break, with Inverness racer Dave Newsham optimistic of pushing for top ten finishes at the circuit where he took his maiden BTCC win.

Qualifying saw Dave secure his best starting position of the season so far, with his Ford Focus lining up 14th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend – just half a second away from the top ten.

Hopes were high of a strong run in the opening race, with the team having elected to run the softer-compound Dunlop tyre at the first opportunity.

However, those hopes would evaporate at turn one, when Dave was caught up in an incident involving two cars ahead that resulted in a puncture – forcing him to return slowly to the pits.

While he was able to rejoin the race, the time lost meant he was unable to close onto the rest of the field and had to settle for a disappointing 26th place finish.

Starting from the back of the field in race two, Dave was able to make moves forward through the pack although he would miss out on a points finish on the final lap when he lost out to Andrew Jordan in a drag race to the line.

With many of his rivals running the softer tyre in race three, Dave faced a challenge to try and rescue points from the weekend but managed to bring the car to the finish in 15th despite set-up changes made prior to the start failing to have the desired effect.

The team have this week been working hard to try and resolve some of the issues faced over the course of a one-day test session, which was attended by a number of the competing BTCC teams at Snetterton on Tuesday.

“It’s been a difficult weekend, and it’s unfortunate that things didn’t go to plan at one of my favourite circuits,” said a disappointed Newsham.