Kirkcaldy’s Rory Butcher bounces back with good points haul at Croft

Rory Butcher is one point outside the top three in the BTCC drivers' standings.
Rory Butcher is one point outside the top three in the BTCC drivers' standings.

Fife racer Rory Butcher was looking to get his title challenge back on track as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season continued at Oulton Park.

The Cobra Sport AmD driver had relinquished the championship lead at the previous round at Croft, where qualifying issues had hampered both he and team mate Sam Tordoff in their quest for points.

Looking to bounce back, Butcher qualified in fifth place on the grid for the opening race of the weekend.

A strong start saw him move up into fourth when the lights went out and the Kirkcaldy racer would hold his place to the finish, despite a mid-race Safety Car period.

A seventh-place finish in race two saw Butcher put more solid points on the board and he headed into the final race of the weekend hoping to impress from fifth on the grid.

Having held station through the opening laps, the 32-year-old was lucky to avoid the incident at the start of lap three that caught out a number of the front-runners and emerged in second place – but nearly six seconds down on leader Jake Hill.

Hunting down the Audi ahead, Butcher closed the gap until he was in a position to attack for the lead, which he did at Island on the penultimate lap.

Unfortunately, his Honda would slide wide on coolant dropped earlier in the race and he slipped back to sixth spot where he would remain to the flag – then inheriting fifth when Hill was handed a time penalty.

At the half way stage of the season, Butcher sits fourth in the overall BTCC standings and leads both the Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy.

“It was important to get some good points after Croft and to beat 30 across the weekend is another solid haul,” he said.

“The car was strong all weekend and we were able to make some good progress in making improvements, which was reflected in the pace in race three.

“Of course there is frustration at what happened in the final race and I’m a bit disappointed for the team, as I feel I let them down a bit with an error on my part.

“They had given me a great car and I was making the most of it until that penultimate lap when I had the moment at Island.

“In hindsight, I could have just settled for the position but these things happen in racing and we have to just put it behind us and look ahead to the upcoming test at Snetterton and then the second half of the season.”

The next BTCC meeting takes place at Snetterton on August 3-4.