Despite seeing the GTE class victory taken away by stewards after the Four Hours of Silverstone, Rory Butcher believed the performance shown by the JMW Motorsport team bodes well for them going forward.
Butcher, Rob Smith and Andrea Bertolini took the chequered flag first at Silverstone on Saturday, but the Ferrari 458 GTE car the trio shared was found to be missing a homologated component of the floor during post-race scrutineering, meaning the #66 was removed from the final results.
“Obviously it’s very disappointing to win and then have it taken away from you,” said Butcher. “But we proved this weekend that we can run up front with the best of them, and that gives us confidence even though we don’t have the result to show for it.
“Myself, Andrea and Rob have worked so well together from when we first met at Paul Ricard and I know we’ll come back even more determined at Imola.”
Butcher felt the opening stint by Smith was a perfect set up for the two silver-rated drivers to follow, with Butcher taking a short stint in the car before Bertolini took over for his own stint, before Butcher returned to the car until the chequered flag.
“Rob did an amazing job to swap times with the two Silver drivers in the Astons at the beginning, so we had our Bronze driver out of the way and our fastest drivers to go to the rest of the race,” said Butcher.
“Andrea had a really tough stint, he had an issue with the front-left tyre and when he came in the canvas was showing though, but our strategy played out really well in the end and had it not been for the problem in scrutineering, we could be happy with a very good weekend’s work.”