Photo: PSP Images

Rory Butcher delighted to head Silverstone times

Rory Butcher admitted he was thrilled to top the times at Silverstone after grabbing his first pole of the BTCC season.

The Speedworks driver was able to edge Jake Hill’s BMW for pole as he secured top spot on the times for the second season in a row at the Northamptonshire circuit to cap a strong day for the Toyota squad.

Team-mate Ricky Collard had earlier finished second in FP1 despite a clash with Will Powell and then backed it up with sixth on the grid for his best qualifying result to date.

“The car is really hooked up round here although I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did last year going into the session,” Butcher admitted. “We felt we could be in the top three or four, but it was all down to getting the lap at the right time and I also managed to get a bit of a tow from Ash Hand as well, which helped.

“It’s a nice feeling to be back on pole and I think we needed it after the way the season has gone so far. Ricky has also been today which has helped as it means we’ve had plenty of good data to work with and put into action.”

The Scot has yet to make it onto the top step of the podium this season, and said he felt confident about his chances on Sunday.

“We’ll go out and fight for a win,” he said. “Jake will be quick at the start but we’ve been strong off the line and our starts have been good. The aim is to make a good start and try to lead into turn one – and then go from there.”