Kirkcaldy driver misses out on Brands Hatch podium spot

Kirkcaldy driver Rory Butcher in action at Brands Hatch
Kirkcaldy driver Rory Butcher in action at Brands Hatch

Kirkcaldy racing driver Rory Butcher missed out on a podium place in round six of the British GP Championship at the weekend.

Butcher and race partner Liam Griffin finished in sixth place at the legendary track which he said was “disappointing”.

The pair had headed into the race full of confidence and eager to close in on series leaders Attard and Sims in the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4.

Bot showed good pace in Saturday’s free practice sessions, despite their Aston Martin V12 Vantage showing some instability in the rear of the car through the quicker and more flowing corners.

Following the qualifying sessions the pair’s combined aggregate times placed them in a respectable fifth position for Sunday’s two hour main event.

Griffin started the race and held 5th position over the first 30 minutes while holding off Ahmad Al Harthy.

He withstood the pressure well and made up positions as his stint came to an end, making a superb move up the inside of championship leader Marco Attard at Druids Hairpin to take 4th place.

Butcher took over at the halfway point and left the pit-lane in second place with a healthy gap back to Alexander Sims in third.

Joe Osbourne was up front and Sims was driving just behind. Butcher was starting to close at just 0.5 of a second behind Sims.

Butcher said: “He (Sims) showed his nose a few times into Surtees Bend but I closed the door and held position, however on lap 36 we crossed the line just 0.2 seconds apart and I was forced to defend as we exited Paddock Hill bend.

“As we shot out of Druids I held the middle of the road as Sims looked ready to make a move - then he sent his BMW Z4 up the inside into Graham Hill bend and forced both of us out wide, causing minor contact between our cars as we rejoined the track and by the time I could regain full speed I had dropped down to sixth - what a disaster.”

However, Butcher quickly regained his composure and tried to catch the cars up ahead. He lapped the circuit quicker than anyone over the final five laps, but the gap proved too big to close down and he had to settle for a sixth place finish.

He added: “It was rather a disappointing result after we showed such strong pace as a team - Liam was on fire during his stint and we certainly deserved to be on that podium!

“We have an uphill battle ahead of us, but next we head to Snetterton Circuit for two 1 hour sprint races with 50 points up for grabs and we are confident that we can turn the tables on our luck!”