MOTORBASE PERFORMANCE ON THE CHARGE FOR MORE CHAMPAGNE
Motorbase Performance has really arrived in the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship followings its double-victory in just eight days across the recent Oulton Park and Knockhill events.
The all-new Ford Focus was extremely quick during pre-season, but the Kent-squad faced some misfortune when the delayed campaign eventually got underway. There was little doubting the team or potential of its latest machines, however, and that has since been underlined following standout performances from lead driver Rory Butcher.
Butcher – reigning Independents Trophy winner – rewarded his team with three top-10 finishes at his home track last time out, capped by a dominant victory in the weekend’s finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Ford’s first win at Oulton Park had come when a rival was excluded for failing the post-race ride-height test, but at Knockhill Butcher proved his pace again, taking the lead on the opening lap before powering clear to glory.
Scotsman Butcher, who came into the weekend carrying 48kg of success ballast, was fifth in the opening race and then stuck in the mid-pack for tenth in race two. However, he grabbed his chance in the reversed-grid final encounter.
“You know, coming home and taking our first proper victory in the new Ford Focus ST is one thing and doing it on the road is great,” said Butcher. “But doing it at home is really special and I just am so lucky to be part of this team and have this opportunity. I’m just so happy to reward them with a victory.”
“The car came alive finally. A little set-up change that we made going into the session and, obviously, stripping the car of its success ballast after quite a difficult race two really helped. It all came together, and it just shows you the performance of this new car.”
The results meant that Butcher now sits in third place in the fight for this season’s BTCC crown with four of the nine meetings completed.
Motorbase battler Ollie Jackson had a bruising weekend in his Focus, with an accident in the third race robbing him of his chance to score big points after making progress with the set-up of his machine across the three races.
Andy Neate also suffered a torrid weekend in his Motorbase Focus, with his charge being scuppered by a rival running into him during the opening contest, effectively ending his points hopes early at the demanding 1.27-mile hillside circuit.
Reflecting on the weekend, Motorbase principal David Bartrum said that Butcher’s race-three win was a landmark for the team, which will now have three weeks to prepare for the resumption of combat at Thruxton in Hampshire on September 19-20.
“A win on the road win, particularly Rory’s home circuit, is a great feeling,” says Bartrum. “It means we have had two wins in two meetings. I am a very, very happy team boss and looking forward to a few weeks in the workshop.
“There is quite a lot to do. But we will get it done and maybe we will be able to sneak a weekend off in there somewhere. Winning races is what gives us the motivation, and that is the position we are in, so no stone will be left unturned as we battle for this crown.”