Rory Butcher vows to “fight hard” for first Motorbase win

Rory Butcher has vowed to fight hard for his first win for Motorbase after snaring a home pole for the Ford team in qualifying for the second meeting of the BTCC season at Brands Hatch.

The Scot, twice a podium finisher at Donington Park last week, endured a mixed run through the two practice sessions at the Kent circuit, showing strong pace in the new Focus ST but also enduring a trip off track at the final corner after suffering a tyre failure.

Undeterred, Butcher emerged on top of a huge four-way fight for pole that saw the top four drivers split by just 0.055secs to earn his second career pole and put himself in the ideal position for race day.

“We’re delighted,” he said afterwards. “We had a fairly big off in FP2 and the guys worked hard to get the car car cleaned off and dusted down ready for qualifying. We had a quick car in FP1 and then had made a few changes for second practice, but we ended up going back to the setting we had before we came here. That is one of the big things about this car; we are close to the window when we roll out of the truck and to get pole here is great. I couldn’t be happier.”

Butcher’s run to pole came on one of the hottest days of the the year, with drivers forced to contend with high temperatures both within the cars and in terms of the track surface, which in turn affected lap times.

The Scot admitted that it would make race day tough but vowed to push hard to try and secure a first win in Motorbase colours to strengthen his early season title challenge.

“Normally we’d come to Brands GP and be hiding in the truck to stay warm,” he said. “Now, we’re hiding in their with air con turned up to try and cool down! It’s been tough today and it was on the second run in qualifying that you really noticed it; hats off to anyone who went out there and went quicker second time around as it wasn’t easy.

“It is going to be tough on race day with the heat and we have to try and keep cool and hydrated throughout the day. It’s so close on the times but this is the BTCC and you can be half a second up the road in qualifying and still not have it your own way when it matters on race day. It’s a whole different ballgame and I’ll be fighting hard to bring it home for the team on home soil.”