Toyota’s Rory Butcher is hoping that he can be just as strong in this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship races at Silverstone as he was last year, when he came away with a pair of victories from the weekend.
In 2021, Butcher was easily the from driver around the Silverstone National circuit, putting his Corolla on pole position before going on to win the opening two races of the day.
The Scot is also buoyed by consistent form, which has seen him finish every race since the season opener in the points, and score in the top ten in 12 of the past 14 races.
However, Butcher – who has been on he podium four times so far in 2022 – is still seeking an elusive first victory of the season.
“Silverstone was probably our best circuit in 2021, and while a lot has changed since then – from the new hybrid system to a different engine package – we’re going back in a confident frame of mind,” said Butcher.
“The Corolla is obviously mega there – it’s somewhere that really plays to the car’s key strengths – and we have a set-up that we know works very well around the track.
“Qualifying has been a bit of an Achilles’ heel for us this year, so we need to make sure we really maximise that because with the Silverstone ‘National’ lap being so short and the times so tight, there will be no margin for error.
“It’ll be crucial to get a tow and you have to get every single corner absolutely spot-on and hit every apex, which naturally ups the ante and ups the pressure – but if we can start towards the front, that will make our life much easier on Sunday.”
Butcher is keen to secure some silverware from the top step of the podium to reward his Speedworks Motorsport mechanics, who haven’t been able to celebrate a win since his triumph at Silverstone last season.
“We know we have a good race car underneath us and that’s really important, as the track layout generates some of the most frantic action of the year, with four-abreast down the Wellington Straight at times.
“The slipstream effect is massive – if somebody is tucked right up behind you, it’s extremely difficult to break away.
“Overall, I’m really looking forward to the weekend, and while we’ll have our work cut out in such a fiercely competitive field, I’ll definitely be trying to replicate last season’s result.
“We’ve been very consistent this year in terms of continually bagging the points, but we haven’t come away with enough in the way of trophies.
“I would love to be up on the podium again at Silverstone and bring back some silverware for all the boys and girls in the team – nobody deserves that more than they do.”
Team Principal Christian Dick drew confidence from the fact that the team has won seven times at the circuit since 2016.
“It’s fair to say Silverstone has been one of our most successful circuits over the years,” said Dick.
“There’s a tendency in the BTCC to ‘pigeonhole’ different tracks as being favourable to front wheel-drive, rear wheel-drive, short or long wheelbase, but I think the fact that we have achieved multiple wins there with both the Corolla and Avensis – two very differently-shaped cars – is testament to the engineering expertise inside this team.
“Those guys are the unsung heroes behind-the-scenes who give the drivers the tools with which to get the job done, and both Rory and Ricky [Collard] have been on fantastic form recently.
“Rory has been an absolute model of consistency as he hunts down a top five championship finish, which I think is a very realistic target.
“He is unquestionably overdue a win now this season, and after his performance at Silverstone last year, he will certainly enter the weekend as one of the pre-event favourites.”
“Make no mistake; with the car and drivers we have, we are going to Silverstone with only one objective – victory.”