Toyota GAZOO Racing UK driver Rory Butcher reflects fondly on his experience ahead of his 100th race in the British Touring Car Championship.
The 2019 Independents’ Champion will be making his 100th start at tomorrow’s Race 1 at Thruxton.
Ahead of the season-opener, he qualified fifth during a qualifying session that was rapidly drying towards the latter stages.
“It was a bit of a wake up call,” he said.
“I remember 2017 and Knockhill, and it was quite an experience – I came into the car and said ‘Guys, those other competitors are aggressive – Is that normal?’ [and] they’re like ‘Yeah, what are you worried about?’.
“So since then, obviously, [I] gained a lot of experience. And it’s just been such a great learning curve, like, these car are very, very technical.”
The 34-year-old debuted into the BTCC at the 19th round of the 2017 BTCC championship for Motorbase Performance after a number of GT sportscar endurance commitments.
In the prior year, he claimed second in the European Le Mans Series (GTE) drivers’ standings after three wins and four podiums in the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia.
His first BTCC victory came at the 2019 season opener at Brands Hatch which was his first weekend in the Honda Civic Type R FK2 at AmD Technik Essex.
“From an engineering point of view, I feel like I’ve come on a lot in terms of work from engineers and get, you know, I know what I want for my car. And then of course, there’s a race car side of things which is so important in British Touring Cars.
“So I know I’ve had a great time and hopefully have many more years.”
He makes his fourth team debut at Toyota GAZOO Racing UK, better known as Speedworks Motorsport, and is set to push his new Corolla GR Sport machinery towards fighting contention this season.