Dave Newsham will make a full-time return to the British Touring Car Championship after landing a drive with BTC Norlin Racing for the 2017 season.

The former two-time BTCC race winner will partner Chris Smiley in the second of the returning outfits Chevrolet Cruze challengers, with the pair set the begin winter testing following Christmas.

Newsham will embark on his full-time comeback in familiar machinery having previously raced the ex-Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze on two occasions in 2016 at Knockhill and Rockingham, whilst filling in for Kelvin Fletcher.

"To have been selected for this drive is unreal for me. 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," said Newsham.

"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 do my very best to justify their faith in me."

With Newsham having already established himself as a proven race winner, BTC Norlin team boss Bert Taylor says the 49-year olds race winning qualities will help push the outfit forward.

"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," said Taylor.

"When we started putting this deal together, we knew he would be the perfect fit. Dave showed how good he is when he stepped into the car for a couple of rounds last season and was challenging for the top six straightaway.

"That is the class that he has. We have a testing programme mapped out and we can't wait to get to work."

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