Butcher bags double Porsche winposted in POR24 | 06 | 2012
FIFER RORY BUTCHER and his Celtic Speed team dominated the latest double-header in the Porsche Carrera Cup at Croft, near Darlington, with their first wins in the championship (see more official photos of Celtic Speed's dominant weekend at Croft).
Not only did the 25-year-old from Kirkcaldy, No1 driver in Scotland's leading sportscar team, win both races from pole position, but he also clocked fastest laps in both races.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Butcher, in only his first full season competing at the highest level of the Porsche Carrera Cup, was awarded Porsche Driver of the Weekend.
Capping what was Celtic Speed's most successful outing in its history, it also received the Porsche Team of the Weekend Award.
The performance showed the combination will be a major force over the second half of the season.
"It's been an absolutely mega weekend," Butcher, whose wins catapulted him from sixth in the championship, to third, beamed.
"I had very little experience of Croft before this weekend, but I really concentrated on getting fast times in qualifying and the two poles set us up perfectly for the races."
In the opening race, Butcher and Jonas Gelzinis quickly broke free from the chasing pack. As the Fifer maintained a relentless pace in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, he then opened a comfortable gap to finish a dominant 3.602secs ahead of the Lithuanian.
Rory Butcher bags first Porsche pole for Celtic Speed
The second race was a tougher test of the talented young Scot's mettle, but again he displayed immense pace, maturity and determination.
Starting again from pole, with championship leader MIchael Meadows alongside, the Enlishman was faster off the line and had opened up a clear car's length as the pair headed for the first, fast right-hander.
Boosted by the win in race one, the first Porsche victory of his career, Butcher confidently dived down the inside in an audacious move and exited the corner in the lead.
"I sensed before the start of the race that this would be a tough one, and I knew I couldn't afford to let Meadows get ahead of me at the start," Butcher admitted.
"Once I got ahead, I also knew Meadows would hound me right to the end of the race, and that's exactly what happened. He was never more than half-a-second away from my rear bumper."
Over the next 15 laps of the 2.1-mile circuit, Butcher coped expertly with the incessant pressure from the more experienced racer and crossed the finish line 0.270secs ahead of Meadows.
"Winning once was brilliant, but to take the double win is a real boost for me and the team," Butcher, whose Edinburgh team-mate George Brewster finished fifth and sixth in the Pro-Am1 class, said.
"And I've got to thank the guys at Celtic Speed, and especially team boss Tommy Dreelan for the faith they've had in me.
"They gave me a fantastic car for the weekend and I'm delighted to have been able to repay them for all their hard work."
Not surprisingly, Butcher's performances were praised by Celtic Speed boss Dreelan.
"We always knew the talent Rory had, now everyone across the country is seeing it," Dreelan, who has supported the Fifer's progress through the ranks, said.
"It's testament to all the hard work he, and all the guys behind the scenes at Celtic Speed, have done over the past 18 months or so.
"This is the biggest day, so far, in the history of Celtic Speed. Not only our first pole position, but two poles; two fastest laps, and not only our first win, but two wins. It couldn't be any better."
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