GT racer Butcher gets Motorbase Ford BTCC call-up

Sportscar racer Rory Butcher will fill the vacancy in Motorbase Performance's 2017 British Touring Car Championship line-up created by Luke Davenport being severely injured in the Croft qualifying pile-up.

GT racer Butcher gets Motorbase Ford BTCC call-up

Davenport sustained multiple chest injuries, lung damage, a broken right leg, a broken pelvis, broken right arm, a broken collarbone and concussion, and spent some time in a medically induced coma following the massive 12-car accident at Croft.

Motorbase ran just two Ford Focuses for his teammates Mat Jackson and Martin Depper in the last BTCC round at Snetterton, but will now bring its former British and Blancpain GT driver Butcher in from this weekend's Knockhill event onwards.

Team principal David Bartrum expressed frustration with BTCC organiser TOCA, saying Motorbase had been told its TOCA BTCC Licence for the third Ford would be revoked if it did not return to full strength for Knockhill.

"Considering the size of the accident at Croft, we were hoping that TOCA would be a bit more respectful of Luke’s condition regarding the third car whilst he was still recovering in hospital and also of our position with the timescales involved," Bartrum said.

"However, it was made very clear that there was no leeway at all in regards to losing our third licence so we had no choice."

Butcher raced for Motorbase's GT programmes in 2014 and '15, and tested Depper's BTCC Ford at Snetterton last month.

The team has had to build up a new car in four weeks to replace Davenport's car, and Butcher is due to shake the new chassis down at Ford's Dunton test track on Wednesday.

"The car has only just been built and it’s my first time in touring cars so it’s a kind of shakedown for the car and me," said Butcher.

"When I first started racing, I looked up to the touring cars and it was my ambition to reach the BTCC grid.

"Although my racing career has ended up going across to sportscar racing and the GT world, switching over to the BTCC is a dream come true."

Bartrum said Butcher's local knowledge at Knockhill would be beneficial given the race to get the car ready.

"As soon as we knew that we had to get the third car back out for Knockhill onwards, Rory became our natural choice for the seat," he said.

"Rory is a Motorbase driver through and through; he’s done a lot with us in GT racing, we know him very well and he knows Knockhill very well which was a huge plus as it’s the first test for the new car."

shares
comments
Snetterton BTCC: Shedden wins after late-race Jordan heartbreak

Previous article

Snetterton BTCC: Shedden wins after late-race Jordan heartbreak

Next article

Knockhill BTCC: Plato edges Sutton for first pole in a year

Knockhill BTCC: Plato edges Sutton for first pole in a year
Load comments
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Prime

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s been a lot of fat to chew elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action.

BTCC
May 7, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Prime

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes.

BTCC
May 5, 2021
The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Prime

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp…

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020
Why the BTCC social media trolls have got it wrong Prime

Why the BTCC social media trolls have got it wrong

A number of drivers on this year's British Touring Car Championship grid have been called out on social media for taking other people's seats, whether they are older or drivers who are deemed to have less talent. Matt James busts the myth

BTCC
Mar 27, 2019
How the BTCC's class of 2018 ranked each other Prime

How the BTCC's class of 2018 ranked each other

The BTCC keeps getting more competitive - this season produced another new record number of winners. That made picking a final top 10 an unenviable task, so we enlisted the help of those who were in the heat of the action to decide the order.

BTCC
Nov 2, 2018
Can a champion be worthy if he only won one race? Prime

Can a champion be worthy if he only won one race?

Titles should be won by the driver who claims more victories than anyone else, so convention goes. Does the unpredictable nature of the British Touring Car Championship render that notion obsolete?

BTCC
Oct 10, 2018
BTCC's hybrid future faces urgent hurdles Prime

BTCC's hybrid future faces urgent hurdles

The British Touring Car Championship recently announced it is investigating how to incorporate hybrid technology into its future machines. In doing so it's following the higher echelons of motorsport, while also revealing risks for its grassroots.

BTCC
Aug 19, 2018