Rory Butcher roars into action as BTCC season begins

Kirkcaldy racing driver Rory Butcher got his season under way at the weekend in the first round of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, which took place at Donington Park.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:30 am
Rory Butcher with his Toyota Corolla GR Sport
Rory Butcher with his Toyota Corolla GR Sport

It heralded a new era for the sport, showcasing hybrid power for the very first time, making the BTCC the first touring car series on the planet to do so.

The 35-year-old said the switch to hybrid did “exactly what it says on the tin”.

He added: “My hybrid power unit worked seamlessly all weekend but, unfortunately, I hit issues elsewhere, when my driveshaft snapped while leaving the pit lane during qualifying.

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"My Toyota Gazoo Racing squad were heroic in their efforts to replace the component mid-session and I was actually ready to leave the pit lane just as the chequered flag signalled the end of qualifying.

"Not having a flying lap time on the timing board was a massive setback which forced me to start at the back of grid for Race 1.

"Our weekend goals had to be re-evaluated and our minds were now focused on getting into the top twelve by Race 2, which would give us a shot at the reverse grid draw.

"However, starting further down the order always comes with added risk and I was caught up in a silly incident on lap two and I had to retire to the pits.

" I was absolutely gutted and so were the team. We had made such great progress and now we were back to square one.

“I had no choice but to live with the disappointment and decided not to change my assertive approach for the next two races.

"Thankfully, everything went according to plan and I cut through the field, passing 16 cars to finish tenth overall in race two and then a solid seventh place in race three, securing some valuable championship points.”

Despite the disappointment, Butcher says there were plenty of positives to take from the opening weekend.

"It’s crazy to think we ended up with two top ten finishes despite starting at the tail end of the grid twice.

"It provided us with a massive confidence booster for the remainder of the season.

"I feel in such a strong position compared to 12 months ago when I first jumped aboard the Corolla.”