Knockhill BTCC: Butcher dominates qualifying for maiden pole
Rory Butcher took his first career BTCC pole position at Knockhill after a sensational performance in qualifying left him a quarter of a second faster than his rivals.
The AmD Tuning Honda driver set the benchmark time of 50.662s as the session was restarted following a red flag after 10 minutes when Mark Blundell spun his Trade Price Cars Audi into the gravel at Clarks.
Butcher had eclipsed WSR BMW driver Andrew Jordan’s early salvo, but the Honda man then went and pushed the fastest time down to a 50.451s, well out of reach of the others.
Factory Honda driver Dan Cammish banked the second-fastest time with six minutes remaining with a 50.694s tour. Jordan remained in third spot, while Tom Chilton (Motorbase Ford) will line up in fourth place.
After a last-gasp effort, Senna Proctor claimed fifth spot in his BMR Racing Subaru, while Colin Turkington will line up in sixth spot in the WSR BMW despite carrying the full level of 54kg of success ballast.
Turkington’s WSR teammate Tom Oliphant and the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes will share the fourth row in front of the two Hondas of Chris Smiley (BTC Racing) and Matt Neal (Team Dynamics).
Butcher, who was carrying 30kg of success ballast as he is fifth in the standings, dedicated his pole position to regular teammate Sam Tordoff, who is missing the meeting after the death of his infant son last week.
Mike Bushell, who is Butcher’s regular engineer and is standing in for Tordoff at AmDTuning.com, will line up in 16th position despite having two laptimes removed for a track limits infringement.
Bushell had to carry 45kg during qualifying and will be forced to take the extra ballast in race one as a substitute driver.
For Knockhill, the prime tyre is the softer of Dunlop’s compounds, while the joker tyre will be the medium. The medium is usually used as the standard cover.
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