Butcher dominates both BTCC Knockhill free practice sessions

Rory Butcher dominated free practice for the British Touring Car Championship round at Knockhill, finishing both sessions more than 0.2s clear of the opposition

Butcher dominates both BTCC Knockhill free practice sessions

The AmDTuning.com FK2 Honda Civic Type R driver - who is fifth in the standings and comes into the event carrying 30kg of success ballast - set a string of laps quick enough to top the timesheets in the opening 40-minute session.

His eventual benchmark was 50.857s, which put him 0.245s clear of Aiden Moffat's much improved Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50.

Stephen Jelley, a front-row starter at Knockhill last season, set the third fastest time in the opening session in the rear-wheel-drive Team Parker BMW 125i M Sport, 0.03s behind Moffat, while Andrew Jordan took his WSR BMW 330i M Sport to fourth despite 48kg of success ballast.

Butcher then went on to snatch top spot from factory Team Dynamics FK8 Honda Civic Type R of Dan Cammish in a tense second session, where the fastest time swapped between Butcher, Cammish and Jelley.

Butcher's lap of 50.615s lap put him 0.254s ahead of the opposition, with the top 20 drivers covered by just one second.

Behind Cammish and Jelley, Jason Plato recorded the fourth quickest time in his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra with a 50.924s tour.

The top four in session two were under the exiting qualifying lap record, which was set by Cammish in 2018 at 50.929s.

Butcher, whose father owns the Knockhill circuit and has worked at the venue as an instructor, said that he had been experimenting with set-up and race lines over the course of the two sessions to record the times.

"People think I know this place like the back of my hand, but there is always something to learn," said Butcher.

"After I had set my fastest time on new tyres, I carried on and I was altering my lines and approaches to corners. You can never get too much experience, and I just wanted to make sure that I have tried everything possible."

Moffat's second place in the opening session was backed up with fifth in the second period. The Laser Tools team introduced the car at Snetterton two meetings ago, and its best finish before Knockhill has been a 17th spot in its maiden race.

Moffat said that a recent test where 2017 title winner Ash Sutton sampled the car has helped, as well as his own increasing familiarity with rear-wheel-drive.

"Watching the way Ash worked had a big impact on me," said Moffat.

"I have never really been able to work with someone that closely before, and it has helped me changed my approach.

"Also, I am getting more and more familiar with rear-wheel-drive, because it is a format I have never raced before the middle of this year.

"Ash's work has helped, but most of the improvement is coming from the nut behind the wheel."

FP1 results

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning Honda 50.857s
2 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.246s
3 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 0.284s
4 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 0.305s
5 Mike Bushell AmD Tuning Honda 0.355s
6 Senna Proctor BMR Racing Subaru 0.372s
7 Josh Cook BTC Racing Honda 0.373s
8 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 0.395s
9 Ash Sutton BMR Racing Subaru 0.448s
10 Jake Hill Trade Price Cars Racing Audi 0.464s

FP2 results

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning Honda 50.615s
2 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 0.254s
3 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 0.303s
4 Jason Plato Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 0.309s
5 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.361s
6 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 0.362s
7 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 0.370s
8 Chris Smiley BTC Racing Honda 0.409s
9 Tom Oliphant WSR BMW 0.450s
10 Ash Sutton BMR Racing Subaru 0.485s
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