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Butcher Does The Double At Rainy Rockingham

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Rory Butcher mastered tricky conditions to claim a brilliant double victory in rounds 15 and 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham.

As race one got underway the track was dry but with rain in the air it became greasy as the race went on, catching a couple of the more experienced heads out.

This cleared the way for Butcher to ease his way to his first win of the season.

In the early stages, championship leader Michael Meadows set the pace as he forged ahead of pole sitter Dan Lloyd on the opening lap.

With the Samsung Smart Motorsport driver apparently strolling to his eighth triumph of the year, he made an uncharacteristic error at Gracelands, spinning into the barriers on lap 12 after taking too much kerb.

By this point Butcher, who had started third, had found a way past Lloyd so moved into the lead, which he would not relinquish.

With Meadows out, Gelzinis sensed a chance to reignite his championship challenge and moved ahead of Lloyd who was beginning to struggle with the handling of his car after damaging his front splitter.

Lloyd’s chances of a podium then completely vanished as he slid into the gravel at Gracelands and joined Meadows on the sidelines.

At the chequered flag, Butcher took the win by 4.5 seconds from Gelzinis.

He said: “I’m delighted with the first win of the year. The team has done a great job. Michael got caught out by the kerbs and I was just trying to stay off the kerbs. It was getting really slippery and I actually hit the wall at Turn One half-way through the race. It was tough after the safety car as we lost tyre temperature. I just kept pushing.”

Gelzinis said: “It was getting very slippery. I saw Michael out of the race and Rory was taking risks, but I couldn’t take so many risks. It is a good result for the championship.”

Victor Jiminez was third overall after coming out on top of a tight tussle with team mate and Pro-Am1 category rival Dan De Zille, who was forced to settle for fourth.

James Birch was fifth but after the race he and team mate Meadows were disqualified due to technical infringements on their cars. This meant that Birch lost his fifth place finish and Meadows lost his point for fastest lap of the race.

For the full race classification, see here.

Butcher made it two out of two with a clinical performance in the afternoon race. Starting from third on the grid, he worked his way into the lead on the opening lap with a gutsy pass on pole sitter Lloyd at Tarzan.

It was a lead the Scot would never relinquish despite being shadowed for the entire race distance by Lloyd.

Butcher said: “There was only one racing line out there as the track was drying out. Dan put a lot of pressure on me and I just had to place the car carefully. It was good fun racing against Dan and this is a great team effort.”

Lloyd said: “Half way through the race the tyres really started to suffer. I had no grip left in the rear tyres and Rory’s tyres looked to be in a bit better shape than mine at the end.. It was a great race and fair play to Rory; he drove very well.”

Jonas Gelzinis completed the podium in a lonely third to further close the gap on championship leader Michael Meadows- just four points now separate the pair.

Meadows salvaged fourth place after struggling in the early stages with the handling of his car before dropping a lap down after opting to pit for dry tyres. He was able to unlap himself late on and set the fastest lap on the final tour of the race to minimise his point’s loss to Gelzinis.

In Pro-Am1 Victor Jiminez claimed victory after a feisty battle with team mate Dan De Zille during which the pair came to blows. They both recovered to make the finish with the Spaniard coming out on top.

For the full race classification, see here.

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