Butcher and Tordoff can’t wait to sample ‘best chassis on grid’
Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff are eager to jump into the outfit’s newly-acquired Honda Civic Type Rs, with both eyeing race wins in the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
The FK2 has proven to be one of the most successful chassis’ in BTCC history, leading former championship runner-up Tordoff and the returning Butcher to believe that regular running at the front of the field is more than attainable in 2019.
“I’m champing at the bit ready to go, it can’t come soon enough,” said Butcher. “We’ve got a little gap before we get into the car for the first time but I think myself and Sam (Tordoff) are just eager now to get behind the wheel of the Hondas.
“Last year was a difficult season. Having to be happy with breaking into the top ten was a weird feeling but that’s just the way touring cars is and how our package was at the time.
“We’ve taken a step up a gear and I’m really excited to drive beside Sam too. He’s someone to bounce ideas off of and I think we’ll be able to do good things together.
“What happens at the front of the field is very different to what happens where I was last year. The guys at the front tend to be a little more comfortable with where they are and they understand that if they make up one more position they’ll get a couple of points but it’s maybe not do or die.
“Where I was, we were desperate in trying to fight for that last point. Hopefully this year I can break away from that and be more towards the sharp end.
“The package is there for us to do the job. If we’re not there winning races, we’ll be disappointed. One thing I learned last year was that it’s so important just to score points.
“If you look at Colin (Turkington) and his points haul last year, sixth place at every race probably would do it for you. It’s the bigger picture that counts and that’s what I’m focussed on, as well as winning races.
“Gordon (Shedden, Butcher’s brother-in-law) will help as much as he can. He’ll help Sam as well. He’s open to bringing his knowledge to the team.”
Tordoff knows more than most how potent the FK2 can be in the right hands, after Shedden pipped him to the 2016 title at the last. He’s thrilled at the opportunity to finally get his hands on the Civic and, with the addition of several key people behind the scenes, he’s optimistic AmD will be fighting right at the front.
“It’s arguably the best chassis on the grid and it’s been that way for a while,” said Tordoff. “It’s won many championships and beat me to the title in 2016.
“I’ve always been intrigued about the car and wanted to have a go. The stars have aligned this year and we’ve managed to do a deal where we’ve got a great chassis and engine with Rory as my team-mate. I think we can be very strong.
“This particular car was last on pole at the final weekend in 2018 so there are no excuses for us. We’ve a formidable package underneath us and we’ve got to do the business.
“We’ve got a lot of people behind us and Shaun (Hollamby) is hungry for his first win in the BTCC. I didn’t know he’d never won until I signed, but we’re planning on winning quite a few for him this year.
“Just because we’ve acquired these cars, we’re not guaranteed success. It’s about people and process. I’ve managed to bring a few key people with me to this deal who’ve been a big part of my career over the last few years including a previous Honda engineer from Eurotech. He’s got years of data in his locker and he carries on where he finished last year.
“We’ll do five or six days testing ahead of the season. One car is ready and the other is in build so we’re hoping to be out there for the end of February.
“We’ve got to do as much as we can. We can both drive front-wheel drive cars but it’s about learning this one.”