The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team will hope to end a fine season on a high when the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns to Brands Hatch for the final rounds of the year.
The West Thurrock-based team has enjoyed a stunning campaign after switching to a pair of Honda Civic Type Rs over the winter, with three pole positions, four wins and a total of nine podium finishes leaving it in contention for no fewer than three titles on Finals Day.Fife racer Rory Butcher endured his toughest weekend of the season last time out at Silverstone but finds himself still firmly in the running for both the Independents' Trophy and the Jack Sears Trophy with three races remaining.The Scot, who will also be seeking to cement a top six overall finish, currently sits 22 points behind rival Josh Cook in the Independents' standings with a maximum of 60 still available, and leads BMW driver Tom Oliphant in the Jack Sears Trophy by eleven having topped the points from the third race of the year.
Rory's season started in fine style with a victory on the shorter Indy circuit during the opening weekend of the year, and he heads into finale confident of another front-running display at a circuit where the Type R should be strong “ having taken pole position for the past two seasons.Team-mate Mike Bushell impressed at the wheel of the sister Honda last time out at Silverstone, securing a pair of top ten finishes in what was only his second meeting back behind the wheel.Mike has enjoyed plenty of success at his home circuit in the past during his time in the Renault Clio Cup, including a double win back in 2017 en-route to his second championship title.As well as working to aid Rory across the weekend in his own championship bid, Mike will be looking to score strong points in all three races as the team seeks to secure the Independent Teams' Championship, which it leads by just four points going into the weekend.
Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“When we headed to Brands Hatch for the opening round of the year, we were confident that we could have a strong 2019 and to be returning in contention for three championships is fantastic. The whole team has done a fantastic job this season, and hopefully we can bring it to an end on a high.“Rory has shown this season that he is more than capable of mixing it with the best, and I know that he will be giving his all to bounce back from Silverstone and try to wrap up the Independents' and Jack Sears Trophy titles.“Mike can also feel confident about a strong weekend after his results last time out and as a pairing, I'm confident that they can get the job done in terms of the Independent Teams' championship.“It promises to be an action-packed weekend, and I can't wait!
Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“It took a few days to get over the disappointment of Silverstone, but I've put it behind me now and I'm feeling good about the weekend ahead. The Brands Hatch GP circuit is one that I absolutely love, and is probably up there with Knockhill as my favourite on the calendar.
“Having taken pole for the past two seasons, I'm sure that the Honda is going to be strong this weekend and I have to try and make the most of that to fight for some strong results. Josh managed to pull out a bit of a gap in the Independents' championship last time out and it won't be easy to pull that back in, so my focus is just on doing the best job I can and see what happens.“Regardless of whether I'm able to take the Independents' title, this has been a fantastic year for me and the team, and whilst there have been some lows along the way, there have been a lot more highs. Hopefully there is another still to come
Mike Bushell, #21 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“I'm heading to Brands Hatch feeling really positive after Silverstone. I had a really good feeling in the car there and I think that I could have come away from it with a podium had the rain in race three not fallen as heavy as it did.“However, I gained a huge amount of confidence from racing people like Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan and Ash Sutton at Silverstone as I've never been in that position before. It's given me a real boost, and it showed again what a good package with have with the Honda.“Brands Hatch is a circuit that I know very well and one where I have enjoyed a lot of success in the past. The main focus has to be to qualify well to get out of the danger zone, and we know that the car is capable of that from the past few seasons. If we can qualify well, it puts us in the best place possible for race day and then we can look to pick up some strong results to end the year.