Kirkcaldy's Rory Butcher back on home turf

Kirkcaldy driver Rory Butcher is again thrilled at the prospect of racing this weekend around his own back yard.

By Ralph Mellon
Friday, 29th July 2022, 11:12 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 11:12 am
Rory Butcher leads the pack
Rory Butcher leads the pack

The mid-season break is coming to a close as rounds 16-18 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship approach at Knockhill this Saturday and Sunday.

And, as the Lang Toun driver says: “What better way to kick start the second half of the season than at your local track?”

The tight and twisty 1.27-mile Fife circuit is one of the most popular on the calendar, with nearly 30 cars set to go bumper-to- bumper during three thrilling BTCC encounters.

Rory Butcher

Butcher is targeting a first win of the campaign in his Toyota GAZOO Racing UK Corolla, while his brother-in-law and three-time champion, Gordon Shedden, has already tasted victory this season and is looking to re-ignite his title challenge.

“The home event is something else for a Scottish driver,” said Butcher.

"Out of 10 events each season, only one of them is north of the border, so it feels very different to your average BTCC race weekend.

"The Scottish fans are really passionate about the BTCC and it’s not hard to feel the extra atmosphere they bring trackside and within the paddock.

"Naturally, they really get behind the local drivers and it’s quite a cool feeling knowing you have their backing.”

It’s an extra special weekend for Knockhill as it celebrates 30 years of hosting the British Touring Car Championship.

Since 1992, it has visited the Fife track and Butcher said he had many great memories of watching the action.

"From the Super Touring era, when Gabrielle Tarquini famously barrel-rolled his Alfa Romeo, to the S2000 days, when Matt Neal and Jason Plato ignited their fierce rivalry that lasted two decades – here we are, 30 years on, and, under the new NGTC hybrid regulations, I’m behind the wheel of a factory-backed Toyota Corolla, which is pretty surreal and very exciting,” he added.

“I made my BTCC debut at Knockhill back in 2017 and, since then, I haven’t looked back. My all-time favourite experience came in 2019 when I bagged my maiden pole and victory in front of my friends, family and supporters. It was absolutely magic.

"I want nothing more than to replicate the events of 2019 but, after a few more years experience in the series, I know how hard that is to achieve.

"My goal is to enjoy the weekend as much as possible and take note of how amazing it is to race on home soil. I’ll let my driving flow around a circuit I love and the results will take care of themselves.”

Qualifying is live-streamed on ITV.com on Saturday afternoon, July 30.

On Sunday, races one and two will be broadcast live on ITV and race three will be broadcast live on ITV4, as well as ITV.com.

Butcher’s weekend timetable is:

Saturday, July 30 – 9.50am-10.30am free practice one, 12.15pm-12.55pm free practice two, 3.30pm-4pm qualifying.

Sunday, July 31 – 12.08pm race one, 2.15pm race two, 5.10pm race three (all races 24 laps).