Jack Butel had one of the best weekends of his sports car racing career as the Jerseyman took two outright podiums and two class wins in the three, three-hour races in the heat of Dubai last weekend (5-7 January).
21-year-old Jack Butel contested his first endurance event outside of Britain with the first round of the 24 Hour Proto Series. After a stellar year in the domestic UK LMP3 Cup in 2017, Butel was on the hunt for more silverware in the Middle East. Representing Speedworks Motorsport once again, Butel was to be joined by Dutchman Kay van Berlo and Russian Konstantin Gugkaev in the Ligier LMP3 Machine.
In the opening race at the Dubai Autodrome, the Speedworks team were fighting at the front with Butel putting in some phenomenal stints in the Ligier to lead the race until a cruel driveshaft failure dropped the team down the order.
In the second race the team bounced back to take a class win and an overall podium with Butel pushing the five-litre sports car around the 5.38km circuit – impressing many with his pace.
That pace was to shine through even further in the third and final hour race. When Butel was in the cockpit, his stint in the car was phenomenal as the Channel Islander led the race convincingly against more powerful machinery. Unfortunately one of Butel’s teammates spun the LMP3 machine in the closing stages, but a strong fight-back saw Jack and his team collect another class win and another top three overall.
“What a brilliant experience,” enthused Butel. “ I learnt so much from the weekend as it was great to get used to some proper endurance racing and some good stints in the car. I was really pleased with my pace as people start to sit up and take notice and I think it got a lot of people talking. I would like to thank my teammates, my team and all my supporters for getting us to the Middle East. We are working on 2018 plans and I really think the Dubai weekend will propel us to a good season in 2018.”
After a brilliant opening to 2018, Jack’s full race calendar is being finalised and will be announced in due course.