DRIVER NEWS: Butel shines at Silverstone

Report supplied by driver’s PR

DRIVER NEWS 29 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – After a weekend of mixed fortunes last time out at Rockingham, Jersey racing driver Jack Butel stormed to his best result this season at Silverstone last weekend. Butel secured sixth overall in the final race of the weekend with a fine eighth and 12th in the other two races to back up his most successful weekend to date in the competitive MSA Formula Championship.

In the previous round at Rockingham Butel had a disappointing weekend by his now high standards and went into the second leg of the Northampton double header at Silverstone feeling confident of progressing in the FIA certified single-seater championship. Jack has historically gone well on the short National configuration of the iconic Silverstone venue, recording eighth in the Formula Renault series last year. The Channel Islander was optimistic as he arrived at the home of British motorsport and soon found his feet, setting respective lap times just a second away from pole position in qualifying.

Butel – now sporting the famous JHR team colours, made one of his position-gaining trademark starts as the lights went out at the start of race one. As the St Saviour resident flew around the 1.64 mile Northamptonshire venue he gained a handful of places as the race unfolded, settling for a position on the cusp of the top ten in 12th at the fall of the flag.

Autumn may now be upon us, but this certainly didn’t deter thousands of spectators who made the journey on Sunday to Silverstone under strong September sunshine. Fans filled the grandstands in anticipation for the three British Touring Car races that day and in and amongst were two nail-biting, highly exciting MSA Formula races powered by Ford EcoBoost. Hundreds of thousands tuned into live uninterrupted ITV4 coverage, and this was the perfect opportunity for the single-seater stars to shine and prove the championship is the breeding ground for the best young drivers in the world.

The second race of the weekend and first of the day would see Jack line up in 12th, one of his best grid positions to date this year. From the off the young gun soon made headway as he picked off further positions to chalk up a career best eighth position as the clock hit zero. More was to come for the Jerseyman that afternoon, however.

In the final race of the weekend, from the ninth row of the grid, Butel rocketed off the start line in his turbocharged missile and overtook several rivals going into the first corner. The first lap was to see sheer carnage as eager young drivers looked for gaps that weren’t there, causing chaos throughout the packed grid. The 19-year-old Jerseyman made some impressive avoidances to get out of the way of drama around him and the former De La Salle student used his mature head to pounce on others’ mistakes as he found himself in eighth after the first lap.

With the destruction and debris left around the Silverstone circuit a safety car was launched to allow the marshals to safely clear away the damaged cars. After a lengthy period behind the safety car, there was to be a 10-minute dash to the flag. Looking competitive after the restart Jack started to hone in on the pack in front.
With just two minutes to go, Butel picked off another two positions as others faulted, elevating the youngster into a career-best sixth – a position which he defended to the flag.

ITV4 MSA Formula race commentators Richard John Neil and Phil Glew were delighted for the Jersey resident as they described the exciting race to the hundreds of thousands watching on screens across the country. Richard John Neil said: “The experience he has gained and the results he has picked up will certainly build his confidence.”

Said Jack: “Qualifying was not so good again but I knew we had the potential come the races. Race one was all about moving through the pack and getting close to the top-ten. 12th was a good race one result and a springboard for the rest of the weekend.

“Race two was a quiet affair but I pushed on and broke into the top-ten as I wanted to better my ninth place finish. I was really pleased to have done that and claim eighth at the chequered flag!

“The final race was just chaos! I could see everything going on around me so just had to pick gaps and hope nobody would take me out, after their own incidents. To come out of the first lap drama with eighth from the back of the grid was a great feeling and to then bag sixth was incredible. It was a great weekend. The team rolled out a perfect car and to claim my best results in front of so many supporters and sponsors has given me confidence going into the final race at Brands Hatch.”