Rory Butcher has signed with the AmD MG team for the 2018 season, joining Tom Boardman at the Essex-based squad.
It will be Butcher's first full season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, have stepped into the Motorbase team to replace the injured Luke Davenport part-way through last year.
Prior to that, Rory secured multiple race wins in the BTCC-supporting Porsche Carrera Cup GB, whilst second in the GT class of the European Le Mans Series was the highlight of a busy international programme.
Having sampled the MG for the first time during a test at Snetterton, with a stint in the car of team-mate Boardman, Rory is set for further pre-season running in the coming weeks ahead of the opening rounds of the season at Brands Hatch on the weekend of 7/8 April.
Rory will be eligible to compete for the Jack Sears Trophy this season, which is now open to those drivers without a podium finish in the series.
With an interim colour scheme being used for testing, the AmDtuning.com with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing MG6 GT that Rory will race this season will be revealed in its racing colours for the first time at the BTCC's annual season launch on March 27 at Donington Park.
“My move into the BTCC last season was all a bit last minute and I was thrown in at the deep end for my debut on home soil at Knockhill," said Butcher, "so I was determined to try and get a place on the grid this year to build on what I learned from the final four rounds of 2017 and to start building a long-term BTCC career.
“In January, it looked like it wasn’t going to be possible but then I spoke to Shaun about the MG and with a lot of effort from the team and from my sponsors – who were eager to join me in the BTCC - we’ve been able to pull together a deal, which I’m absolutely delighted about.
“The BTCC is such a strong series, particularly this season, that it is hard to make too many predictions about what we can expect to achieve, but the team has shown what it can do in recent seasons and my goal is to regularly fight inside the points and push for some strong results as the season goes on.
“Twelve months ago, I didn’t imagine I would be racing in the BTCC but there is no better place for me to be in terms of profile. The series is the very pinnacle of British Motorsport and I’m really excited about the prospect of a full season on track with AmD in 2018.”
“Rory is a driver who we have been talking to for some time, and we are delighted to have concluded a deal for 2018," said Team Principal Shaun Hollamby.
"His career record speaks for itself, and the way he performed last year when he joined the grid in difficult circumstances was hugely impressive.
“Since announcing the MG programme, a huge amount of work has gone into preparing and updating the cars and bringing in the drivers is the final piece of the jigsaw.
“We have to give thanks to both RCIB Insurance and AutoAid for their support in putting such a strong driver line-up together and I’m confident that in Rory and Tom, we have a pairing that is capable of picking up some really strong results on track.
"We want to challenge towards the front, and I fully expect Rory to be in the mix towards the top of the Jack Sears Trophy standings.”