Rory Butcher had a weekend to remember at the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship meeting at Silverstone, topping both free practice sessions and qualifying on Saturday, before going on to win the first two races on Sunday.
In the first race of the day pole proved to be a poisoned chalice for Rory – fluid dropped from a car in one of the support races meant that Butcher had to contend with the slippery side of the track, allowing the Hyundai of Tom Ingram to accelerate into an early lead.
However, Butcher obviously had the faster car and took the lead on lap three, pulling clear of the field to take a comfortable victory.
Ingram held on to second until the finish, holding off a hard charging Dan Lloyd who finished third with Aiden Moffat in fourth ahead of BTC Racing’s Josh Cook and Team BMW’s Colin Turkington.
Race two saw a podium “lockout” for the “Cobra boys” with Rory Butcher claiming his second successive victory of the day. This time it was a lights-to-victory with Butcher initially repelling the challenge of Tom Ingram’s Hyundai before withstanding an exciting last lap attack from BTC Racing’s Josh Cook - although Josh was subsequently disqualified, his car failing a post-race ride height check.
Ingram and Cook went side-by-side on a number of occasions in an exciting and honest contest, culminating in a dramatic late lunge at Brooklands on the final lap: Cooks car ended on the grass, compromising has braking and allowing Butcher to hold on to first place.
Cook’s disqualification handed Tom Ingram second ahead of Team BMW’s Colin Turkington.
Dan Rowbottom in the Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda finished sixth with Chris Smiley seventh and Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) eighth.
In truth there was little cheer for drivers using Cobra Seats in the final race of the day: Gordon Shedden’s season has been frustrating to say the least – summed up by his car stalling on the grid, although his teammate Dan Rowbottom’s gutsy ninth place saw him tighten his grip on the Jack Sears trophy, while a fifth place finish for Stephen Jelley and an eight for Colin Turkington helped to keep BMW well ahead in the Manufacturers- Constructors standings,
A special mention, too, to Andrew Jordan who won the BTCC Driver’s Championship in 2013 in a Cobra seat: Andrew made a welcome return the BTCC paddock driving the BTCC Hybrid Toyota Corolla as part of a demonstration of the Hybrid system.
Jordan’s Toyota, overseen by both Cosworth and M-Sport personnel, contested all official sessions during the Silverstone meeting to replicate full real-time BTCC race event conditions for the Hybrid system, as part of the ongoing test and development cycle prior to every car will running the Hybrid system from the beginning of the 2022 BTCC campaign.
Incredibly, on race day when the car was in a more normal competitive configuration, Andrew set the third-fastest lap time in race one, before going on to set the fastest lap out of all 30-cars in the second race.