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Butcher bidding to shine in Scotland

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher is hoping the support of the British Touring Car Championship’s faithful Scottish fans will spur him on to glory on home soil this weekend (12/13 August), as the UK’s premier motor racing series makes its annual trip north of the border to Knockhill.

Having grown up less than 20 miles down the road in Kirkcaldy and spent more than a decade instructing at Knockhill, 36-year-old Butcher knows the narrow and undulating, 1.27-mile Fife circuit better than most – and that is reflected in his results.

Scene of his BTCC debut back in 2017, Butcher has since gone on to triumph twice at the track, and he piloted his British-built Toyota Corolla GR Sport to a podium finish there last summer.

Team-mate Ricky Collard finished inside the points in all three races at Knockhill during his maiden full campaign in the championship in 2022, and the 27-year-old has similarly scored every time he has taken the chequered flag thus far this season.

The final member of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK trio, George Gamble, raced to the top step of the BTCC rostrum for the first time at Knockhill 12 months ago.

Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session will be streamed on ITV Sport’s YouTube channel from 1500, with every moment of Sunday’s doorhandle-to-doorhandle action to be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4 from 1115.

Rory Butcher said: “There’s no question that Knockhill is the biggest weekend of the season for me. It’s obviously my home track and somewhere that I know extremely well, and while I might be a bit biased, honestly, it’s just awesome to drive. The comparisons to a rollercoaster ride are no exaggeration – every lap is simply pure adrenaline.

“The support us Scottish drivers receive from the fans there is amazing, and that definitely spurs me on. It’s been a few races now since we’ve had a result to really shout about, but I’ve won at Knockhill in the BTCC twice before, and there’s nothing I’d like more this weekend than to reward the team for all their hard work by reaching the top step of the podium again.”

Ricky Collard, Driver said: “I love Knockhill. Its constantly twisting-and-turning nature makes it really enjoyable to drive, and it always attracts a great crowd of enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans. As a circuit, I think it should suit us better than some of the other tracks we’ve been to recently, so I’m hopeful that we can be in the mix and doing battle up towards the sharp end.

“It’s not been the easiest season for us so far this year, but I want to be fighting for podiums and I honestly think we can do that this weekend. Qualifying is always important in the BTCC, but it is possible to overtake at Knockhill and everybody knows I love getting stuck in – so I plan on doing exactly that!”

George Gamble, Driver said: “I’ve had a lot of success at Knockhill over the years, and obviously it was where I scored my first BTCC win last season, so that’s a very special memory for me going back this weekend. I remember Rory [Butcher] filling my mirrors for much of the race, so we know the Corolla is quick there, and I’m really looking forward to discovering the track in a front wheel-drive car for the first time.

“We go to Knockhill off the back of a strong last race at Croft where I had a lot of fun fighting through the field. Hopefully we won’t need to do quite so much overtaking this weekend, and the aim is to hit the ground running right from the word ‘go’ to give ourselves the best possible chance of coming away with three good results.”

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