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Rory Butcher admits he ‘threw everything’ at Oulton Park pole lap

Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher admitted he “threw everything” at his pole position lap in qualifying for race one of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park.

The Scot gave the new-for-2020 Ford Focus ST a second consecutive pole position, doubling up after securing the car’s maiden pole at Brands Hatch last time out.

After the session, he told ITV he made the pole effort “hard work” for himself after bailing out of two laps on his first run due to errors, but was happy to overcome pressure to eventually claim pole.

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“I made it hard work for myself there. I didn’t get the first two laps on the first run, I ended up having to bail out of them and start again, I made a couple of mistakes,” said Butcher.

“Then I put a banker in, and we knew that the other guys were going to find a bit of time and pip me so my engineer was chasing me down the radio and piling the pressure on.

“On that last lap I threw everything at it and came out with pole again. Fantastic.”

While reigning champion Colin Turkington may well challenge for the lead at the start, Butcher believes he will also have to defend from fellow front row starter Josh Cook, and predicts a “tough fight” with the BTC Racing driver.

“Just a typical touring car race I think! Over the last few years the grid has been covered by hundredths or thousandths of a second and having Josh [Cook] right behind me there, it’s going to be a tough fight.

“We raced hard against each other last year so I’m sure tomorrow will be another good day of racing.”

After recurring punctures plagued his weekend at Brands Hatch, dropping him out of races one and three, Butcher believes the Motorbase squad have got on top of the issues to avoid a repeat in the trio of races on Sunday.

“We’ve done a lot of investigating into what went wrong after Brands Hatch, the car was really fast but we couldn’t make the tyre last over a race distance,” he explained.

“We’ve had to change the geometry and kind of rethink our setup. The good thing about this car is it has such a good setup that you can go in different directions and it still comes out feeling fantastic straight out of the box.

“We’ve only made a couple of small tweaks today in free practice and it came out the box fantastically so I’m really pleased.”

The opening British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 12:20 BST tomorrow [23 August]. 

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