Disappointment for AmDTuning in latest BTCC battle‏

The AmDTuning.com team came away disappointed from the latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after a heavy on-track accident led to it being forced to curtail its weekend early at Oulton Park.The West Thurrock-based team made the trip north to Cheshire in confident mood, with hopes high of pushing towards the podium places given the strong race pace shown by its Ford Focus in recent events.Inverness racer Dave Newsham had qualified on the second row of the grid at Oulton Park last season, and his weekend started well with a solid showing in two wet free practice sessions on Saturday ahead of the all-important qualifying session.Aiming to put himself firmly in the mix ahead of race one, Dave had to settle for 16th on the grid having been one of a number of drivers who missed out on the chance to improve in the closing moments of the session when Jack Clarke put his car into the barriers to bring out the red flags.Improved weather conditions greeted the teams for the first race around the full Oulton Park layout, with Dave slipping back a place over the course of the opening lap. With overtaking proving to be a huge challenge for drivers on track, Dave would remain in the same position through to the finish having been part of a huge train of cars dicing for eighth place.A strong start to race two saw Dave move up to 16th and he soon managed to battle his way into the points to sit 13th ahead of the Honda of defending champion Andrew Jordan.Having run side-by-side with Jordan across the line starting lap eight, Dave was forced wide going through Old Hall as Jack Goff tried to follow Jordan through, with the Ford running across the grass before re-joining on the run down the Avenue.Unfortunately, a clash with Goff as the pair raced towards Dentons saw Dave go off onto the grass and with no grip because of the rain the previous day, he was powerless to prevent the Focus making heavy contact with the barriers.With the car returned to the pits after the race, it soon became clear that damage to the front subframe was too severe to be repaired in the time available ahead of race three, leading to the team being forced to withdraw from the remainder of race day.“I’m so disappointed with the way things went on race day as we’d been really confident coming here,” Dave said. “We lost out a bit in qualifying because of the red flag and then in the opening race, we were just as quick as the cars ahead but it was like racing in the Monaco Grand Prix; there was just no chance to find a way past the guys in front.“The tyre pressures had been a bit soft in race one so we tweaked them for race two and the car felt a lot better. I managed to make up some places and was having a good battle with Andrew and Jack when the incident happened.“It was one of those times where I think Jack might have thought he was clear of me as he came across and I was recovering and we touched. I know it wasn’t a dirty move as Jack isn’t that kind of driver and I’ve always enjoyed racing alongside him, but when I got on the grass, there was no chance of me stopping the car. Even though a divot took some of the speed off, it was a heavy hit into the barriers and not the way I wanted the weekend to come to an end.“Yet again we showed we have good speed in the car, and we’ll hope for better luck at Croft later in the month.”Team boss Shaun Hollamby shared in the disappointment but vowed that the team would fight back in the fifth meeting of the campaign later this month.“The red flag in qualifying meant we were a few places further back on the grid that we hoped to be, and it was a tough race day,” he said. “We stayed out of trouble in race one, which was one of our aims after recent events when something in race one has put us on the back foot, but then it all went wrong in race two.“Dave was showing strong pace and was one of the few people who was able to make up places but the accident was one of those unfortunate ones that happens in touring cars. Although it wasn’t as bad as it first looked, it was the biggest impact we’ve had in the BTCC and the damage was too much to be fixed for race three.“However, the car will be as good as new in time for Croft, so we’ll put this weekend behind us and focus on what is to come.”