BTCC Silverstone: Butcher claims pole for Toyota

Rory Butcher claimed pole position for the penultimate round of the British Touring Car Championship on a Silverstone circuit where he and the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla GR Sport dominated in 2021.

BTCC Silverstone: Butcher claims pole for Toyota

Butcher set the time 10 minutes into the session – he picked up a tow from Ash Hand in the middle sector, but then lost time behind the Vauxhall in the final portion of the lap, and they both had to pass a slower car at Luffield.

Despite this, it was enough for the Scot to beat Jake Hill’s West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport to pole by 0.037 seconds.

“I didn’t know whether pole was going to happen in that session,” said Butcher, who was allowed 7.5 seconds of the maximum possible 15s hybrid boost per lap.

“Last year I didn’t receive a tow, but today I did – I had to be quite strategic.

“The car was amazing – it reminded me of last year. I’ve had a whole season of no pole positions, but we’re back.”

Rory Butcher celebrates pole position at Silverstone

Rory Butcher celebrates pole position at Silverstone

Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images

Hill was part of a WSR drafting troupe in the first half of the session with team-mates Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley.

There was a mid-session red flag to retrieve the stranded Ciceley Motorsport BMW of the luckless George Gamble, who had parked by the bridge on the Wellington Straight.

Hill went it alone after this and, on 4.5s of hybrid, he improved his previous best, but not by enough to improve upon his second place.

Similarly, free practice topper Adam Morgan was third at the break in his Ciceley BMW, then improved his time, but remained in the same position, on the full 15s boost.

Morgan recorded no fewer than seven laps within 0.2s of Butcher’s pole time, suggesting he is in good shape for Sunday’s races.

Tom Ingram was fourth at the time of the red flag at the wheel of his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N (3s of hybrid).

After the session restarted, Ingram lost that position to Dan Cammish’s Motorbase Performance Ford Focus, only to snatch it back with three minutes remaining.

Cammish, who scored a breakthrough Ford win at Thruxton last time out, ended up fifth, while Ricky Collard continued his strong day in the second Speedworks Toyota to qualify sixth.

Cammish played the team game to tow around team-mate Ash Sutton, who had 1.5s of hybrid per lap, and ended up seventh. The reigning champion will share the fourth row with the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R of fellow three-time title winner Gordon Shedden.

Dan Lloyd improved to ninth late on in his Excelr8 Hyundai, knocking championship leader Turkington – who had no hybrid use allowed – down to 10th.

Just behind 11th-placed Jelley, outside title contender Josh Cook placed his BTC Racing Honda 12th after an engine change this morning.

Qualifying results:

 Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time  Gap
1 Rory Butcher Toyota/TOCA 57.374 -
2 24  Jake Hill BMW 57.411 0.037
3 33  Adam Morgan BMW 57.462 0.088
4 80  Tom Ingram Hyundai 57.497 0.123
5 Dan Cammish Ford 57.504 0.130
6 21  Ricky Collard Toyota/TOCA 57.513 0.139
7 Ash Sutton Ford 57.563 0.189
8 52  Gordon Shedden Honda 57.610 0.236
9 123  Dan Lloyd Hyundai 57.674 0.300
10 50  Colin Turkington BMW 57.685 0.311
11 12  Stephen Jelley BMW 57.724 0.350
12 66  Josh Cook Honda/TOCA 57.759 0.385
13 48  Ollie Jackson Ford 57.780 0.406
14 Tom Chilton Hyundai 57.784 0.410
15 97  Ash Hand Vauxhall/TOCA 57.789 0.415
16 19  Bobby Thompson Cupra/TOCA 57.801 0.427
17 42  George Gamble BMW 57.839 0.465
18 96  Jack Butel Hyundai 57.866 0.492
19 11  Jason Plato Honda/TOCA 57.898 0.524
20 777  Michael Crees Vauxhall/TOCA 57.916 0.542
21 32  Dan Rowbottom Honda 57.918 0.544
22 17  Dexter Patterson Infiniti/TOCA 57.934 0.560
23 40  Árón T.-Smith Cupra/TOCA 57.974 0.600
24 16  Aiden Moffat Infiniti/TOCA 58.042 0.668
25 99  Jade Edwards Honda/TOCA 58.202 0.828
26 77  Sam Osborne Ford 58.256 0.882
27 28  Nicolas Hamilton Cupra/TOCA 58.621 1.247
28 20  Will Powell Cupra/TOCA 58.843 1.469
29 62  Rick Parfitt Infiniti/TOCA 59.030 1.656
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