Photo: PSP Images

Rory Butcher: “It was important to end on a high”

Rory Butcher insisted it was important to end the weekend at Croft on a high after the Speedworks driver endured a troubled trip to North Yorkshire.

Butcher looked like being one of the drivers to beat on track in the latest rounds of the BTCC season after topping the times in FP1, with his Toyota Corolla also near the sharp end in FP2.

Encouragingly, team-mate Sam Smelt was also able to show top ten pace in practice but things went wrong in qualifying when Butcher suffered engine failure without being able to set a lap time.

Left at the back of the grid as a result, Butcher managed to get into the top 20 in race one but was then forced out of race two when a clash at the complex saw him sustain damaged suspension.

Once again finding himself at the rear of the field for race three, Butcher was able to fight his way up to eleventh spot at the finish to salvage a points score from the weekend.

“It’s such a shame how things panned out as we arrived here with a car that was in great form,” he said. “It shows how much hard work is going in behind the scenes from the team as we have introduced new things onto both cars this weekend and we were flying – I was up there in P1 and Sam was also in the top six and we were collecting loads of good data.

“The engine failure in qualifying didn’t give us a chance to show our potential and from the back of the grid, it can be hard to get through. The shunt in race two just put the cherry on top of the cake.

“Race three showed what the car could do and I think with a few more laps we’d have been in the top ten. The team deserved that result and we needed to end the weekend on something of a high because after race two, I just felt so deflated.

“Now we can go to Silverstone in a positive frame of mind and looking to fight for some strong results so we can finish on a high through the final three rounds.”