Knockhill hosts the opening round of the CRS Scottish Formula Ford Championship this weekend and much of the attention on the 20-odd car grid will be focused on brother and sister, Rory and Jillian Butcher.
Ok, so Jillian now masquerades under her married name of Shedden – something to do with that guy Gordon who races in BTCC – but the family rivalry between 21-year-old Rory, and Jillian (I know, it’s unfair to ask a married woman her age, so I didn’t!) is a reality.
Rory’s pace is already established, having won the closing two rounds at the tale-end of last year. Jillian meanwhile has been taking full advantage of ‘her’ home track – well she is now managing director of Knockhill – and recently clocked a time in testing which would have placed her third on the grid for last year’s opener.
“Hmm, I’m saying nothing,” she smiled, in that sort of knowing way that only women do, “apart from the fact it’s going to be close, and very, very tough.”
Tough it certainly will be. And it’s view shared by championship co-ordinator Graham Brunton.
“In terms of quality, I think this is the toughest FFord grid in the UK,” Graham explained. “We’ve a real depth in quality this year and really there are five or six people who could lift the title.”
In addition to Rory – yes, and Jillian – look out for Dunfermline’s Craig Brunton, who won the newcomers’ title last year, and Musselburgh’s Graham Carroll. Former champs Louis Di Resta (Bathgate) and Stuart Thorburn (Duns) and also likely to be in the mix.
The FFord races form part of the opening rounds of the Scottish Motor Racing Club Championships, which include the Legends, XR2, Mini Cooper Cup and the Sports and Saloon championships.