BTCC: Butcher dominates Race 3 to claim victory

Rory Butcher dominated the final race of the day at Round 12 of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.

The reverse grid format had Senna Proctor start from pole, ahead of Rory Butcher and his Hyundai teammate, Chris Smiley.

Butcher started strongly as he took over the lead before turn 1, whilst Tom Oliphant made a getaway into fourth position.

A dramatic incident on lap 2 brought out the red flag, the restart of the race, and diminished Butcher’s initial efforts for the lead.

Minor contact from an approaching Mercedes into Oli Jackson, Butcher’s teammate, caused his rear-right wheel to lock up (damaged) and spin around at the chicane.

He picked up Mike Bushell and Sam Osborne as he was stranded in the middle of the circuit and on the racing line.

Jackson, Bushell and Osborne retired from the race whilst Jack Goff, taking in minor damage, sat at the back of the field on the restart.

The expected number of laps was reduced to 20.

At the restart, Butcher asserted another classic strong getaway although it stood under (post-race) investigation for a potential false start; there was no further action on it.

He passed Proctor for first before the first corner and Tom Chilton got into third from his fifth-placed start on the grid.

Butcher already had a gap of 0.965s over P2.

At the start of lap 5, Oliphant made a move on two-wheels into the Seat Curves, taking fourth place off Smiley.

The battle in the mid-field continued with Aiden Moffat and Colin Turkington to pass Tom Ingram in the scrap for the eighth, ninth and tenth spots.

Smiley fell down to seventh and defended off Aiden Moffat, and the pack of cars that queued behind him.

Up towards the front, Chilton defended hard from Oliphant for the third spot on the podium.

Ingram sought about defending his tenth position from previous race winner Ash Sutton, who sat second in the championship.

Amongst the intense mid-field scrap, Turkington found his way past to get into eighth ahead of Moffat.

The Chilton-Oliphant battle heated up between the front-wheel drive Civic Type R and the rear-wheel drive BMW 330i.

Butcher dominated to claim a home victory with a six-and-a-half second gap over Proctor’s Hyundai i30N.

He was followed by Chilton who took his 101st podium finish in his entire motorsport career, also in BTC Racing’s 102nd BTCC race.

Oliphant took fourth place ahead of Jake Hill, Dan Cammish, and Smiley.

Eighth position was claimed by Moffat and he was followed by Turkington and Ingram who round off the top-10 finishers.