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Croft qualifying shunt leaves Rory Butcher feeling sore and ‘tight’

AmD Tuning’s Rory Butcher was feeling sore and ‘tight’ after a big accident in qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship at Croft, having lost control of his Honda and hit the tyre barriers.

Butcher was without a qualifying time after three red flag stoppages in qualifying when he lost control of his car at the exit of the Chicane whilst trying to get a lap on the board.

The Scot lost the right-rear of his car, sending him at speed into the tyre barriers on the outside of the circuit, with his Honda mostly suffering from body panel damage as it was thrown around in the impact.

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Although he was one of three drivers to therefore not post a time, the joint championship leader was not too despondent when talking to TouringCars.Net after the session, preferring to just treat it as a ‘bad’ qualifying session.

“It was unfortunate – it was such a disjointed session with so many red flags,” said Butcher. “We wanted to get a lap in on that set of tyres, so we went out once more.

“Maybe it was a combination of sitting in the pitlane and the out lap not being as quick as we would have liked, but we ended up finding out that the right-rear tyre wasn’t up to temperature.

“As soon as I turned left at the chicane, I just lost the car. It was one of those ones where it was unexpected. I did what I could to recover it, but there was a point where I just knew I was going to hit the wall and I had to just accept that.

“The painkillers are just starting to wear off now and I’m starting to feel a bit tight. The team are going to have to do a lot of work to the car to get it ready for tomorrow, but it’s going to be fine.

“It’s done the whole side of the car, but the main thing is they’ve only broken two wishbones and the whole rear right corner is in good shape. The front and rear crash structures are fine.

“Starting on the hard tyre with full ballast means race one is going to be tough, but really the day starts in race two.”

Butcher believes that after he has got race one out of the way on Sunday he can be optimistic for races two and three, believing that the new asphalt at Croft will help him to take the fight to the rear-wheel drive BMW and Subaru cars.

“It’s not all about qualifying. We’ve had a shunt, but we’ve just got to start tomorrow as if we’ve had a bad quali.

“We’ve got to make the most of race one and try and get as close to the points as we can. As soon as that weight comes off and I’m on the medium tyre then I think I can definitely start to challenge.

“Over the whole race I think [the new surface] will help us guys in front-wheel drive, but it’s clear rear-wheel drive still has an advantage over one lap. In both practice sessions the front places were [mostly] rear-wheel drive.

“I don’t need to worry about that at the moment, my job is just to focus on what’s in front of me and that’s a whole lot of cars!”

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