MOTORSPORT: The AmDTuning.com team will hope for a strong result when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship makes the trip to Scotland this weekend for the seventh round of the season.
The West Thurrock-based team makes the journey to Knockhill hoping to bounce back from a tough weekend last time out at Snetterton, where an incident on the opening lap of race one prevented drive Dave Newsham from building on his best qualifying performance to date.
Having only managed one points scoring finish in Norfolk, Inverness-based Dave will now seek to return to form at his 'home' circuit - where he took one of his two BTCC wins back in 2012.
Buoyed by a successful test at the wheel of his Ford Focus following the Snetterton event, Dave will aim to try and bring home a solid points haul from the weekend, with a hat-trick of top ten finishes being the ultimate aim.
However, he is well aware that the challenging nature of the picturesque circuit overlooking the Firth of Forth means it won't be an easy weekend on track.
"Knockhill is a weekend I always look forward to, and we have a lot of guests and sponsors who are coming along," he said. "Hopefully we can put on a good show and I think we should do okay. There’s a bit more to come from me and Knockhill is a circuit where the driver can make a real difference. If it rains, we’ll definitely be in a good position, as we already know the Focus is good in the wet.
"We had our best qualifying last time out and we have to qualify well this weekend because it’s going to be tough with 31 cars on such a small track. Getting a free lap will be tough, but we have to try and make sure we are on track at the right time and avoid getting caught up in any incidents.
"We found something in the test at Snetterton that will help us this weekend when it comes to front end grip, but we’ll just have to see how we get on and how the car performs when we hit the track.
"Back in 2012, things didn’t start well but then I benefitted from the reverse grid to win race three, so anything can happen."
Prior to the race weekend Dave will be one of the drivers to take part in a special demonstration on Thursday, when a selection of modern day BTCC cars will drive across the iconic Forth Road Bridge as part a weekend of activities celebrating the life of former F1 champion Jim Clark.
"I’ve lived in Scotland for a long time and I even represented them in karting, so I’m very proud to be asked to take part in the demonstration," he said. "It’s a special event and is good for me, the team and our sponsors to be involved. I can’t wait."
Following the disappointment of Snetterton, team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was keen to see the Ford squad realise its potential on track.
"Snetterton was a weekend to put behind us but we had a solid day of testing with Dave and Jake Hill that has put us in good shape for the long trip to Scotland," he said. "As Dave’s home race, we’re hoping to have plenty of support and hopefully we can put on a good show for them.
"We’ve had too much drama at times this season, so what we really need this weekend is to have three trouble free races and to pick up a good haul of points. Some strong top ten finishes would be great and anything beyond that will be a bonus."