Rory Butcher fended off huge pressure from Andrew Jordan in the closing laps of the opening British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill after the pair swapped positions on the final tour with Butcher holding on to take the victory.
Polesitter Butcher had kept the fast-starting BMW of Jordan at bay for the majority of the 27-lap encounter, but struggled with a gearbox issue late in the race which affected his run out of the hairpin.
Jordan had pressurised Butcher into the hairpin and got the drive on the exit – gaining an extra point in the standings for leading across the line – before running wide on the exit of Duffus Dip and allowing Butcher back through into McIntyres.
Completing the podium was Dan Cammish on the unfavourable medium compound tyre, who drove defensively for the majority from reigning champion Colin Turkington before the latter dropped away in the closing stages.
The triple champion – who now has a 25 point lead in the standings – did maintain fourth position from Team BMR’s Senna Proctor, who finished fifth to take his best result in the Subaru Levorg this season.
Butcher’s transmission problem – which mainly affected second gear in his FK2 Honda Civic – developed after an early safety car which was necessitated after a spinning Michael Crees collected Nic Hamilton on the exit of McIntyres.
The race went green again on lap nine, but saw many runners collect damage and a high attrition rate; notably with Ash Sutton and Matt Neal coming to blows at McIntyres as Sutton tried to squeeze through on the inside.
The left-rear of Sutton’s Subaru and the right-front of Neal’s Honda tangled and both suffered broken suspension, forcing them to end their races prematurely.
Behind Proctor’s Subaru in sixth position was BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley, who had a relatively quiet race ahead of Tom Chilton’s Ford Focus RS.
The Motorbase racer started fourth and did get past Dan Cammish initially, before a mistake at the chicane left him wide and he dropped positions, eventually placing seventh ahead of Tom Ingram.
Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan was ninth while Jake Hill completed the top ten in the AmD-run Trade Price Cars Racing Audi S3, ahead of home hero Aiden Moffat who secured the Infiniti Q50’s best race result in the BTCC in 11th.
In 12th was Jason Plato’s Vauxhall Astra, making a late move on the medium-tyre shod Josh Cook at the Taylor’s hairpin late in the race.
Behind Cook was Matt Simpson’s Honda, while Tom Oliphant recovered from a drive-through penalty for a jump start to finish 15th as the last of the points finishers.
The second race of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill is scheduled to get underway at 14:15 BST.
|1||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||27||26:45.926||51.311||1|
|2||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||27||0.268||51.237||3|
|3||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||1.444||51.280||2|
|4||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||27||1.614||51.328||6|
|5||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||27||2.298||51.223||5|
|6||22||I||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||2.960||51.352||9|
|7||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||27||3.406||51.218||4|
|8||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||27||3.817||51.327||11|
|9||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||27||4.659||51.380||8|
|10||24||I||Jake HILL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||27||5.381||51.320||17|
|11||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||27||10.156||51.444||12|
|12||11||M||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||27||23.724||51.532||15|
|13||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||23.753||52.002||20|
|14||303||I||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||24.167||51.885||21|
|15||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||27||24.296||51.121||7|
|16||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||27||28.454||52.091||24|
|17||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||27||28.958||52.123||19|
|18||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||27||30.801||52.284||23|
|19||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||27||32.237||52.186||25|
|20||8||I||Mark BLUNDELL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||27||33.619||52.131||30|
|21||37||I||Rob SMITH||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||27||37.845||52.216||28|
|22||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||27||38.876||52.472||29|
|NC||9||M||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||23||NCF||51.774||22|
|R||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||22||DNF||52.131||18|
|R||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||17||DNF||51.359||13|
|R||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||11||DNF||52.088||10|
|R||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||11||DNF||51.884||14|
|R||777||I||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||1||DNF||N/A||26|
|R||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||1||DNF||N/A||27|
|R||21||I||Mike BUSHELL||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||1||DNF||N/A||16|