Double Porsche podium for Rory Butcher

Scotland's leading sportcar team, Celtic Speed, returned from the latest Porsche Carrera Cup double header at Thruxton with two podium finishes.

Led by Kirkcaldy's 25-year-old Rory Butcher, the talented youngster defied the atrocious conditions to deliver two mature drives in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

In near monsoon conditions, which swept across the Hampshire circuit — acknowledged as being the fastest circuit in the UK — Butcher was in sensational form.

Simply keeping the 450bhp Porsche — with no traction control or anti-lock brakes — on the track was an achievement in itself.

But Butcher battled through both 21-lap races on the 2.3-mile circuit, hitting speeds in excess of 150mph, to score Celtic Speed's first podiums of the year.

"Despite the weather, it's been a fantastic weekend," a delighted Butcher admitted. "Conditions were atrocious, especially in the second race.

"We started on slick tyres, because the track was drying, but then the heavens opened and it was a case of just keeping it on the road."

Butcher powered through from sixth on the grid in the opening race to finish third, then started the second race from the No2 position.

Leading into the first corner, the Scot managed to hold off the fast-charging Daniel Lloyd until the penultimate corner of the penultimate lap.

"I just locked the brakes a bit and spun the car," Butcher continued, "and that let two guys pass me.

"But this is my first season amongst the pros in what is the fastest and most competitive championship in the UK, so I'm really chuffed to get two podiums for the guys at Celtic Speed.

"I know the team was delighted with what we achieved this weekend, and it certainly confirms to everyone that we have the pace to mix it with the championship contenders.

"I've also learned that I can race right at the front of the field, and feel comfortable. I'll take a huge number of positives from Thruxton and develop them further at Oulton Park."

In the Pro-Am1 Championship, Edinburgh's George Brewster's weekend was compromised right from the start. An electrical problem with the timing transponder fitted to his car meant all his qualifying times were lost and he started from the back of the 17-car grid.

Despite that, he fought through the field to finish fourth and sixth in Pro-Am1.

"Not the best weekend we've ever had, but it was just one of those things which occasionally happens," Brewster reflected. "Hopefully that's us got the bad luck out of the way for the rest of the season."

Celtic Speed team principal, Aberdeen-based Tommy Dreelan, was understandably delighted with the performance of the team over the weekend.

"George did well, considering the problems he had in qualifying," Dreelan said, "but Rory's performance right through the weekend was fantastic.

"He proved again that he is not only Scotland's most talented young sportscar racer, but he's also one of the best in Britain."

Butcher, and his Celtic Speed team, return to action for the next double-header in the Porsche Carrera Cup at Oulton Park on June 9/10.

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