Butcher makes his mark in BTCC debut at Knockhill

Rory Butcher collects the Jack Sears Trophy as the highest-scoring rookie following his BTCC debut at Knockhill.
Rory Butcher collects the Jack Sears Trophy as the highest-scoring rookie following his BTCC debut at Knockhill.

Kirkcaldy’s Rory Butcher made an instant impression in his first ever appearance in the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill at the weekend.

Having been called up by Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO to drive its brand new Ford Focus, the 30-year-old claimed two top ten finishes and collected the Jack Sears Trophy as the highest-scoring rookie from the weekend – an impressive accolade on his debut.

A delighted Butcher said: “Coming into my first BTCC weekend in a brand new car there’s no way I would have expected to come away with two top ten finishes.

“We had good pace in free practice but then coming through, we didn’t really get the best out of qualifying.

“I got beaten up quite a bit in race one which was an eye opener. I managed to get my elbows out and fight my way into the top ten in race two and that got us onto the front row, and it was awesome racing with all the guys at the front, especially my brother-in-law Gordon [Shedden].

“I think this weekend has been amazing considering that the car has just been built.

“The guys have put in an amazing amount of effort. We only shook the car down for the first time on Wednesday and survived all three races and to come away with some points and 100 per cent finishing record is mega.

“Massive thanks to David [Bartrum], Alex from DUO and the guys at Shredded Wheat for giving me this opportunity.

“Also to the fans for being so good and showing so much support for me this weekend, it definitely fired me up.”

Home fans were also cheering on fellow Fifer Gordon Shedden, who led the championship going into the weekend, however, the Halfords Yuasa Racing star had to settle for a second-place finish in the final race.

‘Flash’ was hampered by 75kg of success ballast in race one and battled around the short, tight Knockhill track to 11th, while a solid drive in race two secured sixth place.

A third consecutive BTCC crown is still very much in his sights as the series heads to Rockingham in Northamptonshire in two weeks’ time.