Rory Butcher: “I won’t beat myself up over final race”

Rory Butcher insisted he wasn’t going to beat himself up over a potential missed podium in the final BTCC race of the weekend at Rockingham.

The AmD driver went into the weekend keen to bounce back from a tough time on track at Snetterton, where he failed to score a point in any of the three races for the first time this season in his MG6 GT.

Eager to return to form, Butcher qualified 20th on the grid and showed strong pace in the opening two races to take ninth and eighth place finishes.

That left him on the second row of the grid for the final race thanks to the reverse grid draw, with Butcher emerging from the opening lap running second to Chris Smiley’s Honda.

After an early safety car period, Butcher tried to pressure Smiley at the front but would gradually slip back from the lead as the performance of his hard tyres started to drop away and was defending third from Colin Turkington when he slid wide at the Deene hairpin and lost three places.

It meant he ended the weekend with a sixth place finish, although the Scot wasn’t being too hard on himself over the potential loss of a race three podium.

“I’m really pleased with how the weekend went and it was a good way for us to bounce back from the disappointment of not scoring at Snetterton,” he said. “After such a tight qualifying session, I felt confident that we could race forwards as we have had a strong race car throughout the season – and that proved to be correct.

“It was all about making sure that we stayed out of trouble at the start of the races, particularly in the mixed conditions, but I think I drove well and felt in a good place going into race three. I was determined to try and get to the front early on but perhaps took a bit too much out of the tyres and was struggling for grip.

“It was a shame that we had the little trip off but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure if I would have been able to keep the three guys behind at bay because of the way our tyres dropped off. I’m not going to beat myself up about it because three top ten finishes is a great weekend for us and a nice boost going into my home round at Knockhill in a few weeks.”