Butcher will make his series debut this weekend
(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
After weeks of rumours Scotsman Rory Butcher has been confirmed at Team Shredded Wheat with Duo for the remainder of the 2017 British Touring Car Champion season, replacing the injured Luke Davenport.
Butcher returns to Motorbase having previously raced for the team in the British GT championship in 2014 and 2015, however this weekend will mark his debut in the series at his home track Knockhill. He is no stranger to the TOCA package though, as in 2013 he contested the Porsche Carrera Cup GB claiming third in the championship with 5 wins and a further 19 podiums.
Speaking ahead of his debut, Team Principal David Batrum said, “As soon as we knew that we had to get the third car back out for Knockhill onwards, Rory became our natural choice for the seat”Bartrum continued to say, “Rory is a Motorbase driver through and through; he’s done a lot with us in GT racing, we know him very well and he knows Knockhill very well which was a huge plus as it’s the first test for the new car”
Following Davenport’s horrendous crash at Croft, Motorbase were forced to rebuild a third car in time for this weekend’s race, or they would have lost one of their TBLs. However the team were able to build and complete the sixth Ford Focus ST chassis in just four weeks, a testament to all those involved, with the car running for the first time yesterday (Wednesday 9th) at Ford’s test track in Dunton, Essex.
“Considering the size of the accident at Croft, we were hoping that TOCA would be a bit more respectful of Luke’s condition regarding the third car whilst he was still recovering in hospital and also of our position with the timescales involved;” Bartrum explained. “However, it was made very clear that there was no leeway at all in regards to losing our third licence so we had no choice. Ideally, we would have liked to have been given until Rockingham to ready the car, but luckily – thanks in no small part to Alex at DUO – we’ve managed to hit the deadline set by Alan Gow.”
“The boys in the workshop have done a monumental job to get the new car built and ready in time for this weekend. I owe a big thank you to Richard Townsend and Willie Poole for their efforts on this because without them pulling out all of the stops to get the metalwork ready for us we wouldn’t have had a chance of making Scotland.
“Antony, Jason, Tim and Tom and a friend of mine Mark Lawrenson have turned that car around in an unbelievable amount of time;” remarked Bartrum. “They got the car off the truck at 8am on Wednesday morning as bare metalwork and it was fully painted and prepped by the following evening, they then took on the build of the car and at 9am on Monday morning she was running.”
“It is an amazing achievement when you see the amount of work that goes into the build of a completely new car from scratch.”
With it being Butcher’s home race he can expect a lot of local support in his debut in the championship, as fellow local man Gordon Shedden will be hoping to extend his championship lead at the top of the table.
Butcher will run car #6 for the remainder of the season.