Kirkcaldy's Rory Butcher claims maiden BTCC win in unusual circumstances

Rory Butcher claimed his maiden BTCC win at Brands Hatch on Sunday.Rory Butcher claimed his maiden BTCC win at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Rory Butcher claimed his maiden BTCC win at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Kirkcaldy racer Rory Butcher claimed his maiden BTCC victory in unusual fashion, after competitor Tom Chilton was hit with a penalty after the race.

The 2019 British Touring Car Championship kicked off just a few days ago at the Brands Hatch circuit. The race weekend began with two very dry and pleasant practice days, setting the drivers up nicely for a qualification round on Saturday.

All 31 racers went into Saturday with high hopes after a good couple day of practice, however, unfortunately for them the heavens opened up.

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Despite facing challenging terrain, Butcher had still managed to muster up an 11th place finish on the qualifying grid, a fairly creditable outcome.

As Sunday rolled around, so too did the rain showers. The impromptu rain meant that drivers had to choose their tyres precisely and some – including Butcher - opted for the safer option of wet tyres for the first race.

This gave an upper hand to those staying with their original tyres and Rory quickly fell to 15th place. Grit and determination to right this wrong did, however, get Rory into a place of 10th come the end of the race one.

The conditions were pretty similar for race two but despite continuing tyre issues, Rory still made progress with an eighth position and a chance of a reverse grid draw.

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In the final race of the day Rory’s confidence was high as he started fourth on the grid, stating that he could “sniff a podium finish” as he waited to begin.

He got off to a solid start in race three as he began working his way ever so closer to that podium finish.

After some excellent driving, Butcher found himself at the front of a chasing pack behind Chilton. He made a great push to catch him - but it wasn’t enough.

Still, a podium finish for the Fife racer and a solid start to the season. Or so he thought.

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Leaving for the airport after the race Butcher received a phone call stating that Chilton had been given a five second penalty after contact with Matt Neil's Honda, promoting the Fifer to first place.

Commenting on his first BTCC victory, Rory said: “This is not how I wanted to win my maiden victory, but it’s still an honour to have my name and AMD Tuning's on the list of BTCC winners.

"I’d like to dedicate the victory to all of my sponsors, friends and family who have supported me for so many years.

"I hope we can all enjoy many more moments like this together.”

Butcher is a respectable fourth overall in the standings as the BTCC heads towards to Donington Park in a few weeks time.