Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Rory Butcher, Tom Ingram reflect on “unfortunate” race three clash

Rory Butcher and Tom Ingram have both reflected on the incident that cost both dear in the BTCC title battle during the final race of the weekend at Snetterton.

Butcher was running third on track in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus but was being chased down by Ingram’s Speedworks Toyota in the closing laps – with the latter seeking to add to a pair of runner-up finishes in the opening two races.

Ingram had closed onto the Ford going into the final lap and as the pair headed through Coram and towards the final turn at Murrays, side-by-side contact saw Butcher go off onto the grass on the outside.

The Scot then came back across the circuit just as Ingram took the final right-hander, with both cars going off as a result – with Butcher able to resume in fifth place but Ingram slipping down to eighth.

With the top three in the standings finishing ahead of him as a result, Ingram now sits 34 points off the championship lead – a gap that would have been 25 had he taken the flag in fourth – whilst Butcher is the true outsider, 63 off the lead with only 67 to play for at Brands Hatch.

“It’s unfortunate,” Butcher said. “Coming through Coram, Tom had the run and I was trying to position myself for the final corner and make it hard for him. We were running close together and there was contact, and the rest was history.

“Tom did well to stay on track and i wish I could have, but I ended up on the grass and was a passenger from that point. I didn’t want to come back on and hit him; it was unfortunate. Watching the onboard footage, the contact was more of a rub than anything and I don’t think Tom could have done anything differently – it was two racers who were racing hard.

“In hindsight, I maybe could have conceded a bit earlier but it’s unfortunate.”

“It was messy from the start with people driving into each other and the gaps opened up for me,” Ingram – who had started from ninth place – added. “I got up to fourth and then set about chasing the top three. The car felt great and I closed onto Rory and on the final lap I got the headlights flashing to try and get to him a bit and I think I did, as he seemed to lose his head a bit and was more focused on his mirrors.

“Into Coram, I gave him another flash of the lights and he had a slide. I wasn’t planning a move as I wanted to try and get the cut back out of the final corner, but as he went wide, I went to fill the vast gap, got down his inside and he turned into my left rear – which turned me across him. It might look on TV like I forced him off, but that wasn’t the case – it was down to the contact he made with the rear of my car.

“He ended up on the grass and the rest is history. I won’t be going for a t-bone steak anytime soon without getting the jitters…”

Butcher was handed a verbal reprimand and a strike for the incident when it was looked at by officials after the race.