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Oulton BTCC win stems from Manufacturers Hatch enhancements

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The 34-year-old Scot moved to the Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota staff to exchange the staff’s long-time favorite Tom Ingram for 2021.

Whereas Butcher was in a position to drive the Corolla onto the fringes of the struggle on the entrance within the opening two rounds at Thruxton and Snetterton, he certified a lowly sixteenth subsequent outing at Manufacturers.

However a turnaround in kind at Oulton, Speedworks’ native monitor, enabled Butcher to qualify third, and he won the second race of the weekend whereas carrying 48kg of success ballast from fourth place within the opener.

“It’s most likely been tough for everyone,” Butcher instructed Autosport of his first three race weekends with Speedworks.

“They’ve been used to Tom’s superb finish to final yr.

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“I’ve are available in, and to be trustworthy I’ve not tailored to the automotive as I’d have appreciated and because the staff would have appreciated.

“It grew to become a case of, ‘how can we adapt the automotive for Rory?’, and that course of began on the Saturday evening at Manufacturers Hatch.

“In race two we made a step ahead with the automotive, and I acquired as much as P10 from P15 [in race one], however then I acquired knocked large and dropped again to P14.

“In race three I acquired as much as P7, and handed Ingram, Ash Sutton and acquired quickest lap – the most important distinction was going ahead; I haven’t had a lot of that this yr.”

Rory Butcher, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Toyota Corolla

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Butcher has had a nomadic profession since he entered the BTCC in 2017, and has by no means began a season in a automotive he has raced earlier than.

Ingram seems to favour a free, skittish automotive, whereas Butcher has been adapting from the extra user-friendly Ford Focus he raced in 2020.

“We’re working totally different entrance dampers and totally different rear geometry this weekend,” he stated at Oulton.

“Now I can assault the best way I wish to, and within the course of I’ve learnt about what I would like from a automotive.

“It’s good to enter a qualifying session feeling I can struggle for pole.”

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Speedworks boss Christian Dick was happy not solely with Butcher’s progress, but additionally that of inexperienced team-mate Sam Smelt, who put in by far his greatest qualifying efficiency to line up fifteenth.

The Toyotas have additionally progressed from close to the underside of the velocity traps at Snetterton to the sharp finish at Oulton, one thing Dick ascribed to elevated tempo off the corners.

“It’s taken a bit longer than we’d have appreciated, however we’re positively within the window now – it’s starting to click on,” he stated.

Butcher’s weekend at Oulton ended when he was crashed out of the finale by the out-of-control Laser Instruments Racing Infiniti of Carl Boardley, which had brake failure on the entry to Druids.

It leaves Speedworks with a variety of work to do to arrange the automotive for subsequent week’s spherical at Butcher’s residence circuit of Knockhill as he bids to enhance on his present eighth within the factors.

“We had a power-steering problem, that plagued us at Manufacturers on the Saturday,” stated Butcher of his slide down the sphere.

“Carl was a passenger when his brakes failed, and it’s simply disappointing – that shouldn’t occur and it’s crap for the staff.

“We’ve solely acquired a two-week turnaround and there’s a lot work to do.”

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