Dan Lloyd heartache hands Rory Butcher victory
Rory Butcher picked up his first win of the BTCC season in a chaotic final race at Donington Park, but only after heartache for Dan Lloyd after a final lap failure saw him spin out of the lead.
Lloyd had started the reverse grid race from pole in his Team HARD-run Cupra and was able to lead from the front in the early stages of the race as his rivals battled for position behind.
Even when the safety car was called out due to debris dropped by Jake Hill’s BMW after he clipped the tyres at the chicane, Lloyd was able to retain his position at the front only for the driveshaft on his car to let go as he headed through McLeans for the final time.
Lloyd was powerless to keep the car on the circuit and having fishtailed up the circuit towards Coppice, would spin off into the gravel and retirement.
That left Butcher free to come through and grab the win for Speedworks, marking the first time this season that the Toyota team has secured a victory on home soil for the Corolla.
Butcher had started the race in P5 but having clearing Adam Morgan on the opening lap to move into fourth place, then took third on the road from Tom Chilton – who was carrying a five-second penalty for being out of position at the start – on lap four at the hairpin.
Within a lap, the Scot was ahead of the Vauxhall of Aron Taylor-Smith and was in the ideal place to then benefit from Lloyd’s misfortune and score the win, with Taylor-Smith and Morgan following him home to round out the podium.
Rick Collard capped a strong weekend with fourth place, with Ash Sutton coming from twelfth on the grid to grab fifth place, helped by a number of clashes ahead that helped him to gain ground.
One of those saw rival Tom Ingram delayed by Dan Rowbottom after he suffered a puncture and ran wide at Redgate, with Sutton able to nip ahead to secure a result that extends his points lead – with Ingram ending up back in seventh behind Colin Turkington’s BMW.
Chilton would cross the line behind Ingram in eighth before his penalty dropped him down the order, meaning the top ten was rounded out by Hill, Sam Osborne and Stephen Jelley.
Chilton would be classified in twelfth to at least salvage a points finish from the race, whilst team-mate Ronan Pearson came from the back of the field after pitting to have a loose bonnet fixed to score a point and set the fastest lap.