Daytona debut opens doors for racer Rory

The 'battered and bruised' Tully's Coffee sponsored Porsche which made it to the end of the Daytona 24.
The 'battered and bruised' Tully's Coffee sponsored Porsche which made it to the end of the Daytona 24.

Kirkcaldy GT racer Rory Butcher described his first taste of 24 hour racing as an ‘awesome experience’ upon his return from America this week.

Butcher took part in the Rolex Daytona 24 Hour over the weekend, helping top US sportscar team, GB Autosport, which runs a Porsche 911, to a seventh-place finish in the GTD class.

Rory Butcher - GB Autosport - Daytona 24

Rory Butcher - GB Autosport - Daytona 24

And the Fifer hopes his performance will lead to further opportunities to race in the US in the future.

“It was an unbelievable event,” Butcher told the Press. “It was such an awesome experience.

“All the teams are so professional and the paddock was filled with world class drivers.

“Six months ago I would never have thought I’d have gone to America to race with such an amazing team and driver line-up.

“It’s hopefully opened a few more doors for me in America.

“I left on really good terms with the team so fingers crossed I get offered more drives across there.”

Butcher, whose team mates included Damien Faulkner, Kuba Giermaziak, Mike Skeen and Michael Avenatti, completed two stints in the car, including a two-hour stretch in the middle of the night after no sleep.

“I first jumped in the car around 7.00 p.m - around four hours in - and at that point all the top guys in class were battling for position,” he said.

“We were leading the class at one point, which was really exciting and the team were all high-fiving and hugging me afterwards saying I did a good job.

“I got back in the car at 3.00 a.m after no sleep - it was just too noisy in the paddock and my head was buzzing.

“It was a strange feeling going into the car to push at that time of night, but after 15 to 20 minutes I started to get into a rhythm.

“The race was a lot calmer at that time with everyone just making sure they completed laps.”

GB Autosport had been competing for a podium until eight hours into the race, when the car suffered a tyre blow-out at 150mph.

“The tyre exploded during one of my team mate’s stints and ripped off the front bumper and radiator,” Butcher explained.

“We were in the top five in the lead lap and had a good shot at the podium but we lost 12 laps in the pit repairing the damage.

“It was a shame but it was still a big achievement to finish the race because the car was battered and bruised.”