Earlier this year, Scottish racing driver Rory Butcher marked his 100th British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) drive. Since then, he’s been storming up the championship standings at the wheel of the Speedworks Motorsport and Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Corolla.
After two third-place podiums and a fourth in race three at Donnington last weekend, Rory goes into the last race of the BTCC season at Brands Hatch in sixth place. Currently, only 28 points separate him from a podium finish in this year’s championship.
Rory’s winning streak started at Oulton Park back in July when he bagged two first-place finishes in the second and third races after putting the Corolla onto the second grid during qualifying.
At the time, Rory said of his performance: “I feel like we’ve turned the corner a little bit with the car. And it shows in our performance. I’m really happy, but I have to have my wits about me. The goal is to get some silver wear and bag some points.
“It feels absolutely amazing to win my first race for the team and for Motul. It’s been a long time coming but now we’ve adapted the car to suit me, it’s given me that buzz again. I feel like the old Rory from last year. To then turn that feeling into a result – well, you could see it on my face at the podium, that’s how much it meant to me. We did it in style. And I feel so at one with the car now. I can really attack.”
Clearly gelling with the car in his first year driving for Toyota, Rory’s race-winning pace continued just a few weeks later at Silverstone, where he put in a blistering performance during qualifying to put the Corolla on pole. Throughout race one he held onto his lead and earned his place on the top step of the podium. He followed this up in the next race with a solid second-place finish and a victory in the top 10 showdown.
Speaking at the time of his Silverstone win, Rory said: “What a weekend here at Silverstone. I had a perfect day yesterday topping all the times, and today we won two races as well. It was beyond our expectations, but we knew we were building into the year and progressing and today just highlights the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in the team.
The win at Silverstone is all the more impressive given that it was the venue of Rory’s massive crash last year, an accident he described back then as “the biggest of my career”.
After several years racing successfully as an independent, Rory joined the Speedworks Motorsport/Toyota Gazoo Racing UK team for the 2021 BTCC season. Motul is one of the primary sponsors of the team and is its official lubricants partner.
You can watch Rory in action in the final BTCC race of the year at the Brands Hatch GP circuit next weekend (23 & 24 October).
© Pictures: Pat Cranham