Silverstone BTCC: Butcher wins Race 1 after pass on Ingram

Toyota’s Rory Butcher recovered from initially losing the lead to win the first British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Silverstone.

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Butcher’s pole position slot had been coated in oil and then water after a spillage in the preceding race, and he lost the advantage at the getaway to fellow front-row starter Tom Ingram.

But Butcher’s Speedworks Motorsport-run Corolla soon homed in on the bootlid of Ingram’s Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, and he dived into the lead at the Brooklands left-hander on the third lap.

With Butcher carrying just 9kg of success ballast, and Ingram on 39kg, the Scot began to pull away. By the seventh lap of 22 he had extended the gap to over one second, by lap 10 it was 2s, and it went as far as 3.821s with three laps remaining before he crossed the line 3.262s to the good.

“It’s just reward for the team’s hard work,” said Butcher. “They’ve given me such a fantastic car for the past few rounds, and it’s been a real pleasure to drive every single lap this weekend.

“I think I adjusted my start in anticipation of some wheelspin [on the dropped fluid], but overcooked it and ended up bogging down, but it was nice to make my way back into the lead.

“Tom’s a savvy driver, and his job today is to score points – I’m on a different mission, to make amends for what’s happened this season.”

Ingram, for his part, was convinced Butcher’s move came under yellow flags, which had flown for a first-lap tangle at Luffield that eliminated Gordon Shedden and the sister Toyota of Sam Smelt, but Butcher claimed to have checked twice to make sure.

Throughout the race Ingram resisted pressure from Dan Lloyd , who had a fantastic first lap to rise from fifth on the grid to third in his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.

But no obvious gap appeared for Lloyd who was equally concerned with fending off the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 of Aiden Moffat, who had another good run with 27kg on board.

The places didn’t change, with Ingram heading Lloyd and Moffat across the line in close formation.

There was another three-way battle for fifth. Josh Cook in his BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R (on 48kg of ballast) had to defend from Colin Turkington’s West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport (57kg) and championship leader Ash Sutton’s LTR Infiniti (75kg).

Sutton had lost a place from eighth on the grid on lap one, but made his way past Stephen Jelley’s WSR BMW at Becketts on lap four, then ran wide into Luffield on lap eight to mount a lovely cutback move on Dan Rowbottom’s Team Dynamics Honda, which he completed at Copse Corner.

Sutton set fastest lap and homed in on Cook and Turkington in front, but there was no way past.

While Rowbottom finished eighth, Jelley had to keep a wary eye on Jason Plato’s PMR Vauxhall, which completed the top 10, and the third WSR BMW of Tom Oliphant.

Title contender Jake Hill had a nightmare race with 66kg of ballast on his Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus.

From 22nd on the grid, he got into the lower reaches of the top 20 before losing out in a muscular battle with Jack Butel and then having a half-spin at Copse with three laps to go that cost him two places, putting him back to 21st at the finish.

The Cosworth hybrid-equipped, Speedworks-run Toyota of Andrew Jordan started as intended from the pitlane, and showed much better pace than in qualifying to set the third fastest lap.

Silverstone BTCC race one results:

Cla Driver Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 21'21.142  
2 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 21'24.404 3.262
3 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 21'24.808 3.666
4 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 21'25.405 4.263
5 United Kingdom Josh Cook 21'27.816 6.674
6 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 21'28.071 6.929
7 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 21'28.521 7.379
8 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 21'29.255 8.113
9 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 21'31.296 10.154
10 United Kingdom Jason Plato 21'31.706 10.564
11 United Kingdom Tom Oliphant 21'31.899 10.757
12 United Kingdom Ollie Jackson 21'38.123 16.981
13 United Kingdom Chris Smiley 21'38.412 17.270
14 United Kingdom Senna Proctor 21'38.763 17.621
15 United Kingdom Carl Boardley 21'39.151 18.009
16 Sam Osborne 21'39.905 18.763
17 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 21'40.552 19.410
18 Jack Butel 21'41.028 19.886
19 United Kingdom Jack Goff 21'44.602 23.460
20 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 21'44.964 23.822
21 United Kingdom Jake Hill 21'46.046 24.904
22 Jade Edwards 21'46.381 25.239
23 Rick Parfitt Jr. 21'47.157 26.015
24 Nicolas Hamilton 21'49.241 28.099
25 United Kingdom Andrew Jordan 21'51.735 30.593
  Andy Neate 4'42.439 20 Laps
  United Kingdom Adam Morgan 1'20.643 21 Laps
  United Kingdom Gordon Shedden    
  United Kingdom Sam Smelt    
  United Kingdom Jack Mitchell Jr.    
Silverstone BTCC: Butcher seizes pole as shootout format returns
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Silverstone BTCC: Butcher doubles up with race two win

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