Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Rory Butcher happy to be at the sharp end

Rory Butcher insisted he is happy to be at the sharp end of the grid at Snetterton despite missing out on a potential pole position for the penultimate rounds of the BTCC season.

In the first appearance for a new-look, two stage qualifying format being trialled this weekend, Butcher topped the opening phase of qualifying at the wheel of his Motorbase-run Ford Focus to secure his place in the ‘Top Ten Showdown’.

However, when the grid was then decided in Q2, the Scot found himself having to settle for fourth place on the grid having set a time quicker than he managed in Q1, but two-tenths off pole.

“It’s a bit frustrating to drop down to P4 after topping Q1 but it shows the progression across today,” he said. “We only had one practice session so people were finding time all day, and we went quicker in Q2 than we had done all day, but others just found more and it wasn’t enough. Half a tenth would have put us on the front row so it’s been close.

“It’s been tricky today trying to get the tyres to come in a the right time because of how cold it has been. The track is very green and we’re around two seconds off where we would normally be, which shows how difficult it’s been.”

Butcher however said he felt confident about having a strong car for race day as he seeks to keep his title challenge alive.

“Lap one will be difficult,” he said. “Rear wheel drive will struggle to get heat in the front tyres and we will struggle to get heat in the rear tyres, so the opening laps will be interesting! However, I’m glad to be at the sharp end and am sure we can have a good day.”