Jack Butel was able to celebrate his best weekend of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship to date at Thruxton after successfully securing a second career Jack Sears Trophy win.
The Jersey racer headed into the eighth round of the season at the Hampshire circuit seeking to try and challenge for a first overall points finish of the year, with an astonishing run of misfortune across the campaign having hampered his challenge.
Having shown solid pace during the two free practice sessions in his EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Hyundai i30 Fastback N – which now sports a revised livery for the remainder of the season – Jack came within 0.052s of securing a third successive top 20 result in qualifying but would line up 21st on the grid for race one.
Although he would climb up to 19th place in the early stages of the race, a wild moment heading through the high-speed opening turn that saw the Hyundai slide sideways mid-way through the 16 lap encounter cost Jack valuable positions.
Recovering back to 20th place at the finish, Jack then suffered further misfortune in the early stages of race two when a clash with the Infiniti of Dexter Patterson on the exit of the final chicane saw him lose ground before another solid recovery saw him work his way back to 21st place.
A fine start to the final race of the weekend saw Jack move up into 18th spot before an issue for George Gamble on lap two allowed him to climb into 17th.
Running ahead of team-mate Tom Chilton heading into the closing stages, Jack then took advantage of a clash between Adam Morgan and Ash Hand to move into the top 15 and he took the flag to secure the final overall championship point.
Returning to the pits at the end of the race, Jack then discovered that he had been the highest scorer amongst the Jack Sears Trophy racers across the weekend – meaning that he took home the round victory at the circuit for the second year in succession.
“After the way the season had been going, the Jack Sears Trophy wasn’t even a thought coming into the weekend and my main goal was to get three finishes and see if we could push for a point,” he said. “We were in the wars a bit in the first two races but I knew we had a good race car and were capable of running in the top 20, and in race three, things just came together.
“To cross the line and get the points finish we’ve been working so hard for was a really emotional moment, and that was before I came back into the pits and the team told me I’d won the Jack Sears Trophy. That was just the icing on the cake, and a real boost to now take into the final rounds.
“Words can’t describe how tough this year has been, as my girlfriend Vicky had been ill since February and then dad fell ill – so it’s been one of the worst years possible off track.
“To get this trophy is just fantastic for everyone involved and hopefully now we can build on this across the final two rounds and end the year on a high.”