At the season finale of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, Rory Butcher secured two podium finishes to finish fifth in the championship in his Motul-lubricated Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla GR Sport. It’s the second time the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK driver has finished in the top five. He went to Brands Hatch on a high after securing a victory and two more podium finishes at the previous race of the season. Butcher is one of the most seasoned drivers in the BTCC, with 156 races, 10 wins and 24 podiums. He was also the 2019 BTCC Independent Driver’s champion.
Rory, how does Motul’s products help you achieve success on the track?
Motul is a well-known brand in our industry and is held in high regard. We're super proud to have them on side of the car and excited to see what else can come from it. The BTCC is the perfect place to be and we're so glad to have Motul backing us. I want to push myself to be the best I can be, and I think having the Motul products inside our engine and gearbox gives me the confidence to push them to their limit and know that they’re going to last the race and the season.
The Corolla had quite a few changes this year. How long does it take for those to bed in and for you to feel comfortable in the car?
My aim for Brands Hatch was to cement fifth in the standings, and that’s exactly what we did. We came into this season with a different engine package and a shake-up in the regulations with the hybrid system replacing success ballast, and it took us the first four or five weekends to get to where we should be – but over the second half, we’ve really settled into our stride.
You had a great qualifying at Brands Hatch…
I was absolutely buzzing after qualifying. We didn’t really know how the session was going to go, but the changes we made during free practice clearly took us in the right direction as the car felt very strong – much more so than last year at Brands GP. It was great to back up our Silverstone form with another front-row start, and I felt in a good place going into race day – I was properly gunning for it and on the hunt for some trophies. I then didn’t have quite the same feeling in the next one, and once Hill and Turkington began putting me under pressure, I had to adjust my line and the race just got away from me a little bit. We looked at what we could do better for race three, and we came away with another podium, which was really satisfying. We’ve actually been mega-consistent this year and have scored points in 29 of the 30 races – that kind of consistency is really hard to come by in this championship.
What are your expectations for next year?
It’s been a very special end to the season. I feel like we’re really building some momentum and it’s kind of sad that we’re now heading into a break, but we’ve learned so much and that fills us with confidence for 2023. Hopefully, we can go into next year, hit the ground running and really exploit that to have a genuine crack at the title.