BTCC: Butcher claims pole position at Brands Hatch GP

Rory Butcher secured pole position for the second round of the British Touring Car Championship at the Brands Hatch GP circuit.

The top spot in qualifying was fought hard between the drivers ahead of Round 4, but Rory Butcher set a time of 1m 31.111s, just +0.031s ahead of championship leader Colin Turkington.

Behind him sits Butcher’s teammate Oli Jackson in their new MK4 Ford Focus STs, asserting its pace. The top four were covered by just +0.060s.

Jackson, who achieved his best-ever qualifying position, said: “I think my best – up until now- was P7 last year.

“I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit of a funny day – I struggled in the first couple of Free Practice sessions, struggling to find the balance – I wasn’t that happy with the car.

“We’ve come into qualifying, put a fresh set of slicks on it, and it’s been mega”, saying how the used Goodyear slick tyres in the FP sessions caused a struggle.

“The team have done a fantastic job, it’s a great (qualifying) result for the team.”

In a post-race interview, Butcher described the car as a “competitive package” as it claimed its first pole position.

He continued to say how he didn’t make the most of its performance at the previous round at Donnington Park, relative to his mistakes that cost him slightly against his competitors.

Dan Cammish, of the #27 Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R, holds the second-highest ballast of 54kg (behind Turkington).

He mockingly stated how he “always seems to start second”, following a small on-track conflict with Nicolas Hamilton (purely-based on track position and their timing) that found himself pushing only to find himself in second.

In fifth and sixth were the two West Surrey Racing prepared BMWs of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant.

Senna Proctor claimed seventh position, ahead of Tom Ingram’s Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla.

Josh Cook and Tom Chilton rounded off the top-ten for BTC Racing, just ahead of BTCC veteran Matt Neal.

Further down the order, Ash Sutton found himself in 14th after a numerous string of exuberant laps, finding some of his lap-times cancelled for exceeding track limits.

Sutton’s fellow teammate, Aiden Moffat, struggled in his Infiniti Q50, setting a time of 1m32.193s to go 22nd fastest.