Rory chuffed with opening BTCC event of season

Rory Butcher was flying at Brands Hatch. Pic: MW Motorsport Media
Rory Butcher was flying at Brands Hatch. Pic: MW Motorsport Media

Rory Butcher surprised even himself by how succesful he was at the first British Touring Car Championship weekend of the season.

The AMD Tuning MG driver had no real expectations going into round one at Brands Hatch, but things went much better than he had hoped.

“If anyone asked me what my goals were heading into my first BTCC weekend, I’d simply say ‘to come away with points on the board’” he explained.

“With a car that’s new to the team there were so many unknowns, but I’m pleased say that I’ve returned from Brands Hatch with three points-winning performances, including a top six finish.

“This now means I’m sitting ninth overall in the championship.”

Things looked good for Butcher when he arrived at the track and his car showed great pace in practice.

But this couldn’t be converted in qualifying, and the team started a lowly 24th.

“It’s easy for your head to drop when three races loom, knowing all the while you need to make up a minimum of nine places before you’re even in a point winning position,” said the Kirkcaldy racer.

“AMD Tuning team principal Shaun Hollamby offered some words of wisdom on Sunday morning.

“He said, ‘just think of today as a one hour endurance race broken into 3x 20 minute stints, you just need to get through each stage, stay out of trouble and make up places in every race’.

“Coming from sportscar racing, this was something I could relate to, of course.”

Race three was the highlight of the weekend.

Butcher started ninth on the grid and quickly made up places in the early laps to finish sixth overall.

He added: “I’m absolutely delighted with this weekend’s results and I’m most pleased to have been able to race hard, clean and climb the ranks in every race.

“We head to Donington Park better placed for round two in three weeks time.”