Kirkcaldy driver Rory Butcher bounces back after Thruxton upset
Kirkcaldy racing driver Rory Butcher says he was relieved to get his first podium finish of the BTCC season.
The 34-year-old race ace had an opening weekend to forget in Thruxton in May but came roaring back at Snetterton where he said he arrived with a fresh mindset.
“The 2021 season didn’t start so well for me however we arrived at Snetterton circuit determined to get our championship campaign kick started once and for all,” he says.
“Despite struggling for pace in practice, the good vibes returned to the Toyota Gazoo Racing garage once we pulled it together in qualifying, as we secured third place on the grid for Sunday's Race 1.
“We had done our job on Saturday and set ourselves up for a good race day – it’s always easier when racing from the front.”
Race 1 saw Butcher claim a podium finish, despite some problems.
"My gear change packed in on the warm up lap requiring me to manually shift and lift fully off the gas pedal.
"It was as much a relief as it was exciting when securing our first piece of silverware together. You always worry that a car issue will cost you the opportunity, but thankfully we made it stick.
In Races 2 and 3 he finished fifth and sixth respectively, rounding off a solid – and roasting hot - weekend.
“Across all three races the conditions were scorching and one of the biggest challenges was the heat inside the car as well as tyre degradation.
"I even put my fireproof underwear in the fridge before each race to try and stay cool!”
Butchers says he had achieved his goal which was, unlike Thruxton, to finish all three races.
“I definitely felt like I held something back in every race, especially on the first laps where I’m normally quite assertive.
"Maybe I could have even finished one or two places higher in races 2 and 3.
"It’s hard coming away from an event feeling like you have left something on the table, but I think this is a good approach for now.
"We’ve bagged a strong haul of points and jumped from 15th to sixth in the championship, so for that reason I’m really happy with our choices.
Next for Butcher is Brands Hatch where he says he will adopt “a similar strategy”.
"It’s still very early in what is a long season and a strong foundation of points is what we need right now.”