Last weekend Edinburgh Watch Company spent the day at Knockhill Racing Circuit supporting one of our sponsors Seb Melrose. Better known as Seb he is a highly talented member of the Graham Brunton Racing team and is competing in the Scottish and National Formula Ford 1600 Championship.
Although the weather on the day was wet to say the least we still had a fantastic day talking to various members of the Graham Bunton Racing team, the friendly staff at Knockhill and members of the public, we we’re also lucky enough to get an interview with Knockhill legend Rory Butcher.
As a huge petrol head myself I was keen to hear all about his journey and share it with our EWC followers.
For the full video of the interview with Rory Butcher please see below.
What championships have you been racing in most recently?
“Most recently I’ve been touring Europe racing in the European Le Mans Series, Blancpain Endurance Series and the British GT Championship. I’ve been around and now I’ve come back to race in the UK in British touring cars. “
For those of you who don’t know, Rory is a part of the family at Knockhill. His father Derek, the owner and developer of the racing circuit. He has spent plenty of time getting to know the grounds.
It must be brilliant for you to follow in your dad’s footsteps and be part of the success here at Knockhill?
“Absolutely, I’m here day to day helping, helping to organise the events that we run here at the circuit. The place has changed over the years and it’s great to get the feedback from people, especially as now visitors are coming from further afield. Some people are only coming up once a year and they really notice the changes that we make to the track. We’re growing every year.”
You’re busy helping organise events at the circuit and racing, it must be a bit of a dream to get that phone call one day from a team you used to race with, to be invited into the biggest racing championship in the UK, the British Touring Car Championship. How did that feel?
“Surprised. I raced for Motor Based Performance in the British GT in a V12 Aston Martin so they knew me already from that. However, it’s a completely different form and style of racing in Touring cars, so when they gave me the call and asked me to drive the car it was a bit of a shock, but once I got my head around it I was full of excitement and I was eager to get on with the new challenge and new chapter in my career.”
Going back to your most recent race at Knockhill, did you think you’d do quite as well as you did?
“It could have gone any way, I didn’t really set any expectations as it was my first time in the car and I didn’t really get much time to test it prior. It had only been built a few days before the event and we ended up with two top ten finished over the weekend and even had a little dice with Gordon Sheddon at one point in the third race which got the crowd going. I think it was a nice start to my career in touring cars. I’m just at the start of the learning curve with the car and the style of racing. Soon it’ll click and I’ll be able to feature in the top ten or even top five more often.”
A lot of the cars you’ve been driving have been rear wheel drive, to jump into a front wheel drive Focus must feel quite different. It must take some getting used to.
“Yeah it is, there’s certain things I have to think about, it doesn’t come as naturally to me as it would in a rear wheel drive car, I’m getting there now. The car is being adapted to suit me and I’m tweaking my driving style to suit a front wheel drive car as well. The driving is one thing, the biggest aspect that has taken a lot of change is my racing style, it’s very elbows out, argy-bargy, these guys just go for a move and you must get out of the way otherwise they’re going to come ploughing into the side of you. It can be a little bit rough out there and it takes a bit of getting used to but I’m well up for it. For my next race, I’m going in with an assertive frame of mind and will put the elbows out myself. “
Did Gordon Sheddon give you any tips?
“Yeah, he has been really good and I’ve also had a lot of help from other people. I’ve been doing some simulator work with triple world touring car champion Andrew Priaulx so he’s been helpful too. “
Edinburgh Watch Company and Knockhill Racing Circuit have been doing some great things this past year, including exhibiting at lots of the events. As part of our ongoing birthday celebrations we’re partnering up with Knockhill to give you concession prices at the entrance of the SMRC meeting on the 8th of October. All you have to do is turn up and show the marshals that you are an Edinburgh Watch Company follower and you’ll get £5 off tickets for you and your party (usually £15).
It’s the final race of the year so expect quite a display of Minis, Racing Legends, Formula Ford, sports cars and saloon car races, BMW compact cup and more. As the final part of the championship it’s going to be a good event to come and see as each racing driver will be giving it their all to get the best result, not one to be missed!