Dave Newsham is hopeful of joining fellow Scot Gordon Shedden on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium at his home circuit of Knockhill (3-4 September). Newsham, from Inverness, will arrive at the Fife circuit off the back of his most competitive showing to date in the BTCC, the UK's premier motor racing championship.Three weeks ago some 500 miles away at Snetterton in Norfolk he finished all three races on the day inside the hallowed top ten and even briefly tasted the lead in one of them.
Now he's back home - running his successful Norscott coffee vending machine business out of its headquarters in Inverness as well as another base in Aberdeen - and feeling confident about his chances at Knockhill.And while Fife racer Shedden, who drives for the high-profile factory Honda Racing Team and is currently in the running for the BTCC crown, is expected to shine on home ground, Newsham is also hopeful of giving Knockhill's trackside crowd another name to cheer.
The 45-year-old, who races a SEAT Leon for the Special Tuning Racing team, said: "It was only my third event with the team but Snetterton showed just how much the car and I have gelled. I'd say we are now genuinely showing mid-top ten pace.
"Gordon's been in the BTCC for five years now and is always the big name when the BTCC comes to Scotland, but I was ahead of him in one of the races at Snetterton for a while. I don't think I got the results I merited there either so I'm going to Knockhill pretty fired up. I really want to be on the podium and believe that the SEAT, given its past results there, is capable of it."
Although he originally hails from the North West of England, Newsham very much considers himself to be Scottish and takes great pride in the fact that it was at Knockhill last year where he won the Renault Clio Cup drivers' title before his graduation to the BTCC for 2011.
He added: "I moved up to Inverness to start the Norscott company in 1994. My first ever race on four wheels was at Golspie kart track about 60 miles north of Inverness. I won my second race there and was also the local club champion.
"There's a lot of Scottish blood running through my family's veins as well: my dad was half Scottish and my wife's grandfather was from Orkney, plus both my kids who are now into their teens were born and raised here and I couldn't have wished for a better upbringing for them.
"Inverness might be three and a half hours' drive from Knockhill but people up here are used to driving long distances to get to events. And from what I'm hearing a lot of people from the area will be driving to Knockhill for BTCC weekend and that makes me feel great. It brings a bit more pressure but that only adds to the buzz."Tickets at advance rates still available; kids 12 & under FREE all weekend Newsham will come up against his BTCC rivals, including Shedden, in three headline races at Knockhill (Sun 4 Sept). Another 11 hotly-contested races will also take place on track during the weekend with action from the 'resident' supporting Ginetta GT Supercup, Ginetta Junior and Porsche Carrera Cup championships plus the guesting Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons and Mini Cooper Cup series.Race day (4 Sept) tickets cost £25 in advance and can be booked right up to the eve of the event (Fri 2 Sept). To book or for details of other ticketing options including discounts on weekend passes and concessions visit the knockhill.com