Rory Butcher is looking to build on a hugely successful 2012 season by putting together a sustained Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship challenge in 2013.
The 24-year-old Scot stepped up to the Pro category last season after finishing as Pro-Am1 runner up in 2011 and took nine podium finishes including two victories at Croft, his first wins in the series, on the way to fifth in the overall championship standings.
Speaking exclusively to theCheckeredFlag.co.uk, Butcher said of last season: “It was a really good year and we made significant progress from 2011. I went into it with no expectations but after the first couple of rounds I felt like I could get podiums and maybe a win. I finished the season with nine podiums which could have been ten if I wasn’t penalised at Silverstone and I got my first win at Croft.”
Butcher feels the decision to move up a category in 2012 was key to his upturn in form. He said: “I always wanted to be a pro, from the moment I started in the championship. Once I became a Pro it changed my mind-set in a positive way.”
Butcher’s progress was also recognised by Porsche who at the end of the season gave him the most improved driver award. On receiving this award, he said: “I was chuffed. I felt I’d be in the running but didn’t necessarily expect to win it. I felt like I made progress last year.”
Turning his attention to the forthcoming season Butcher’s aim is abundantly clear. “I’m going all out to win the championship. It will probably be my last year in Carrera Cup GB. I feel like I can take the fight to Meadows.”
Butcher will once again drive for Celtic Speed in his pursuit for the title, the team he first drove for in a one off outing in the series at Knockhill back in 2010 and has since contested two full campaigns with. Of the team he said: “I’m really happy at the Celtic Speed team. We all gel together really well, work hard and trust each other.”
Butcher’s familiarity and happiness in the team could be a real advantage in 2013; he has a good working relationship and understanding with his number one mechanic Jamie Cleland, son of two times a British Touring Car Champion John. In a championship where car setup is so crucial, it can literally be the difference between a front row qualifying position and being outside of the top five, this stands Butcher in good stead.
Celtic Speed have never engineered a driver to the outright title before but after Butcher gave them their first race victories at Croft last year the team’s confidence appeared to soar and particularly in the second half of the season they were a genuine threat at every circuit. This season should be the year that Butcher and the team kick on and put together a full strong, consistent campaign that puts them in with a chance of the title, whether they can do this and seize the chance will be fascinating to see.