Jerseyman Jack Butel has won his first race in the Henderson Insurance UK LMP3 Cup last weekend (16/17 September). The 21-year-old started his weekend with a strong fourth overall on the opening round of the weekend at Donington Park before the Channel Islander scythed his way through the spray in the rain-soaked second race to take a dramatic first victory on the final round of the season.
Jack Butel travelled to Donington Park in Leicestershire for the final two rounds of the UK LMP3 Cup and was determined to claim his first victory for himself and his Speedworks Motorsport team. Butel had already notched up two third place finishes, two second place finishes earlier in the season and was hunting his maiden sports car win at the wheel of his Ligier LMP3 machine.
Adding to the pressure of the season finale, Jack would be driving solo as the young-gun would complete the race distance by himself as he went about developing his endurance driving. Starting from fourth on a dry circuit, Butel was embroiled in battles all race long and after the first hour long race finished in fourth, missing a podium by just 2.7 seconds.
Qualifying for the second race in fifth, Butel went into the final race of the season with one objective – to win the race and take the spoils. Butel made his trademark lightning start as he leapt into third on the opening lap. As the rain descended, Jack reveled in the wet conditions as on lap three, Butel made his move to leapfrog two rivals and lead the race. The St Saviour resident dropped to third after the mid-race pit stop but came out of the blocks at a rapid pace once again, and on lap 16 retook the race lead – a position he wasn’t going to relinquish and crossed the line in first place – leaving rivals including Sir Chris Hoy in his wake. More impressively the Channel Islander claimed third place in the championship standings.
“It was a mixed weekend to start for us. Qualifying was poor but a fourth made up for it on the first round. The second round, everything changed. I always go well in the wet and knew this was going to be my race. I enjoyed driving the distance on my own as I could focus on the set-up that worked for me. What a way to end the season. I am over the moon to take my first win, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
The Donington race weekend won’t be the final race meeting of the year for Butel. More news will be announced in the coming weeks.