Butcher eyes title tilt with Motorbase following best ever season in 2019

by Tom Surgay

Rory Butcher enjoyed the best BTCC campaign of his career to date in 2019, claiming three victories on his way to fifth place in the championship, a feat that helped him to secure the Independent Drivers’ title.

“It was a great season on track in terms of results and being able to establish myself right at the front of the grid. It was also an amazing learning experience again. Every time you go out, every season in the British Touring Cars, you just learn so much. There’s so much to learn before you’re a complete driver in terms of being a BTCC driver, so many variables to take on. I think I made some mistakes along the way but in doing so I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to try and fight for a title.

“I think we had a really strong package, I think we made the most of what we had. We didn’t really have many weak spots in the team. What I mean by that is obviously the chassis was really good, we had a really strong engineering team, and two drivers who were able to match each other and push each other. As much as the car was dated I think we kind of put our heads together and did the best we could with what we had.”

Butcher has now taken the decision to leave AMD and move to Motorbase Performance as he eyes a challenge for the overall championship.This will involve a change of machinery from the Honda Civic Type R he campaigned last year to the brand new Ford Focus ST that the Motorbase team have built, something that excites Rory immensely.

“The cars are going to be really cool. It’s going to look completely different to the old car, it’s going to have a lower centre of gravity, be better through the air, more aerodynamic, the chassis should be stiffer as well.”

This season will be Butcher’s third full season in the championship and the Scot is eyeing a long career in the championship.

“I would say that I am pretty set on trying to establish myself in a long term career in BTCC. I really enjoy racing the cars, they’re really technical, they’re fun to drive, the racing’s just a huge buzz. You never feel like you’ve truly got a handle on it and another side of it is it’s really good from a sponsorship side of things. There’s no other championship in the UK or Europe that gives as much backing in terms of TV coverage in terms of or spectators and how exciting the racing is as well from a spectator or sponsor’s point of view. You don’t get a dull race.

“I think what’s happened is the organisers have got the recipe right in terms of balancing out all the chassis and engines so that it’s a hugely competitive championship. I think because of that they’ve retained a lot of the top drivers over the last kind of 10-15 years so a lot of the big names have stayed in there. You’ve got a lot of young guys who’ve come through and are now challenging the front guys as well. It’s the manufacturers and the big brands that are on board that kind of just ticked that final box. All of that seems to be bringing the fans out. It’s unbelievable racing in the British Touring Cars from the point of view of walking through the paddock and just seeing how passionate the fans are.”

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