Butcher claims late pole in Oulton Park qualifying

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Rory Butcher made it back to back pole positions at Oulton Park. Photo Credit: media

Rory Butcher struck late to take his second consecutive Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pole position of the 2020 season.

The Motorbase Ford Focus driver set a lap time of 1:25.734 to edge out BTC Racing’s Josh Cook by less than a tenth of a second.

Butcher said: “I made it hard work for myself. I didn’t get the first two laps on the first run, I ended up bailing out and starting again. I made a couple of mistakes and then got a banker in. We knew the other guys would find a bit of time and pip me, so the engineer Rich was chasing me down the radio, piling the pressure on. So on that last lap, I threw everything at it and came out with pole again which was fantastic.”

Cook said: “I’m a bit gutted for the guys not to get pole position, but the front row is good. We’ve had a tough couple of weekends so we needed to come here and have a good session today that’s for sure. We need to come out with some points tomorrow so we’re going to be racy. But we know the strength of our cars on a Sunday; we’ve got a real good race setup so we’ll see what we can do against Rory.

“I can’t really afford to be too conservative; we need to get some results. The points on the board throughout our team aren’t representative of the pace we’ve got in the car or the effort everyone’s put in – we deserve to be in a better place, the guys have done such a good job. The front row is good but we need to convert it into a win tomorrow.”

Championship leader Colin Turkington was an impressive third fastest despite carrying maximum ballast in his works BMW. He will be joined on the second row of the grid for the first race tomorrow by his fellow multiple BTCC champion Matt Neal. Fourth represented Neal’s best qualifying performance of 2020 so far and potentially puts him in a strong position for tomorrow when he will contest his 700th BTCC race in the second race of the day.

Immediately behind Neal, were three more Hondas, with team-mate Dan Cammish fifth, Jake Hill sixth and Tom Chilton seventh. This meant that five Hondas occupied positions in the top seven.

Tom Oliphant was eighth in the second BMW, with the Mercedes of Adam Morgan and the Hyundai of Chris Smiley rounding out the top ten.

The first race takes place at 12:20 and will be broadcast live on ITV4.

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