Dave Newsham will make a full-time return to the BTCC in 2017 after inking a deal to join the BTC Norlin Racing team.
The 49-year-old two-time race winner will line up alongside Chris Smiley in the team’s Chevrolet Cruze; a car he knows well from his time with Power Maxed Racing.
Newsham – who secured the best result for the car last year at Knockhill whilst deputising for Kelvin Fletcher – is set to start testing with the Bert Taylor-run team after Christmas and said he was delighted to confirm his return to the grid.
“To have been selected for this drive is unreal for me,” he said. “The team has some very solid foundations and there is a real desire to win from all parties. This will be the first time I will go into a season with a car that I know so I am full of optimism.
“There are some great people assembled at the team, including my engineer Steve Brady. The elements are there for us to take some real steps forward in terms of performance.
“We will get some pre-season testing done too, and there are areas of the car that we can develop from my time driving it in 2016. I know I have got to go out there and perform – the pressure is on, but I am ready for the challenge.
“I am very grateful to Bert Taylor and the guys at Norlin for the chance to get back on the grid. I am going to try my very best to justify their faith in me.”
BTC Norlin Racing chief Bert Taylor said he was pleased to get the experienced former Jack Sears Trophy winner onboard and insisted he was the perfect man to help push the team forwards on it’s return to the grid.
“It was important for us to get a driver with race-winning experience, and Dave was at the very top of the list of drivers we wanted,” he said. “When we started putting this deal together we knew that he was the driver that would be the perfect fit.
“Dave has shown how good he is when he stepped into the car for a couple of rounds last season and he was challenging for the top six straight away. That is the class that he has. We have a testing programme mapped out and we can’t wait to get to work.”