Motorbase’s Rory Butcher has praised the regular British Touring Car Championship drivers for their ‘aggressive’ racing, admitting that it will take him some time to get used to the style of racing in touring cars.
Having struggled to just 25th in Sunday’s first race, in part due to carrying 45 kg of ballast for being a new entry into the championship, Butcher then went on to claim two top ten finishes in race two and three with a brace of ninths.
The Scot was in the thick of the action throughout the day, in particular in race three where he secured a reverse-grid front row start.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Butcher to TouringCars.Net of his début weekend. “After qualifying I didn’t know how race day was going to go and I was a bit down in the dumps.
“I got beaten up in race one, stayed in P25 and then when the ballast got taken off and I got the option tyre I had a bit of confidence to go forward.
“It was great just racing, coming through the pack, and getting that top ten because coming into the weekend the guys said that all I needed to do was to get through race one, make some places up and try and get into the top ten and I could be on the front row. It just seemed to fall into place.
“Fair enough, I fell back in race three, but I just showed my lack of experience, especially against the top guys.”
Butcher battled hard with brother-in-law Gordon Shedden in the final race of the day, and the Motorbase driver admitted to being surprised by the aggressiveness of some of the battles, not only with the Honda racer.
“I’ve got to praise them for how aggressive they are,” added Butcher. “Where I’ve come from is endurance racing and I’m in the car for two hours at a time just laying down laps, whereas this is a sprint race and it’s just going to take me a while to get used to that.
“I just found it a huge amount of fun, and I managed to hold him [Shedden] off for a lap or two. He made a superb move going into Clark corner – he was behind me and then he just sent it up the inside and was so aggressive and made it stick, so thumbs up to him.”
Butcher also praised the Motorbase Performance team and partners for not only building the new car quickly over the summer, but also for the reliability demonstrated by the focus over the weekend.
“This is obviously the first time the car has been out on track as it’s a brand new car. The team only had a few weeks to build it, so a huge thanks to everyone at Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo, and also to Rich [Townsend, engineer] and Willie [Poole], because they put in a marathon of a shift to get it ready for shakedown on Wednesday and we’ve now had three finishes and two top tens on our début with the car.
“It’s been a learning experience – I’ve driven in the wet and the dry, had a terrible qualifying and a terrible first race and then had two positive races, so it’s really good.”