BUTCHER BAGS WIN AS TITLE CHASE TWISTS AGAIN
Rory Butcher’s recent impressive run at Silverstone has continued in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race, as the Scotsman claimed a lights-to-flag victory.
The Toyota GAZOO Racing UK driver took two victories at the Northamptonshire circuit last season, and he’s followed that up with pole position and a first win of the 2022 season here today.
Butcher stormed clear in the early running before he was hounded down by the BMWs of Jake Hill (ROKiT MB Motorsport) and Adam Morgan (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) late on. The race leader dealt with a safety car period in the closing laps, followed by intense pressure from behind, but eventually crossed the line for his tenth BTCC career victory.
Much of Butcher’s early advantage was due to the incredible battle for second going on in his rear view mirrors.
A gaggle of cars scrapped for position in the first few laps with title contender Tom Ingram (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com) initially losing out and dropping down the order, but worse was to follow for championship leader Colin Turkington as the Team BMW car was bumped down to the rear of the field.
Further contact followed for the #50 BMW as he was caught up in a midfield melee and his hopes of scoring championship points were dashed.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden made a couple of nice moves to take fourth at the finish, ahead of the recovering Ingram and NAPA Racing UK pairing of Ash Sutton and Dan Cammish – the team-mates having swapped positions on the final lap.
Ricky Collard (Totoya GAZOO Racing UK), Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) and Tom Chilton (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com) rounded out the top ten positions in race one.
Incredibly when the dust settled on this frenetic opener we are left with the top four drivers in the overall standings being covered by just ten points.
Reigning champion Sutton now leads Turkington by four points – with the latter also having to start the second contest from the back of the grid – whilst Ingram and Hill are tied just a further six points in arrears.
Rory Butcher said: “It doesn’t get any easier, I tell you! That felt just like last year. I thought I’d checked out at the start, and I thought I’ll take a little bit of a break out of the hybrid and try and regen, but Jake [Hill] just made so much inroads, he was on my tail and then the safety car equalised everything. I just had to do 15 qualifying laps. My engineer was on the radio on every single lap counting down.
“I just have to say, I’ve been waiting so long for another win – it’s been a whole year – it’s a team effort. It’s not just me behind the wheel, it’s the engineers setting up the car, the mechanics doing their job, Christian and Amy [Dick] behind the scenes and the sponsors that make it all happen. And, of course, I’ve got my family down with me this weekend as well. It’s great to do it for everyone and finally repay them with another win.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Silverstone
1. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK 24 laps
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.299s
3. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.551s
4. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +1.424s
5. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.714s
6. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +3.216s
7. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +3.404s
8. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +4.077s
9. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +5.511s
10. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +6.077s
11. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +6.483s
12. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +6.931s
13. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +7.286s
14. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +7.882s
15. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +8.621s
16. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +10.814s
17. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +13.162s
18. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +13.615s
19. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +14.436s
20. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +17.542s
21. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +18.151s
22. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +23.297s
23. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1 lap
24. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +1 lap
25. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +2 laps
26. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +7 laps
27. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +9 laps
28. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +14 laps
29. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +15 laps