Jerseyman Jack Butel made a strong start to his UK LMP3 Cup assault at the weekend (21/22 April). The Channel Islander got behind the wheel of the Speedworks Ligier JS P3 LMP3 at Donington Park for two, one-hour long races. Butel was joined by new teammate Dominic Paul and pair notched up seventh and fifth in the opening two contests of the new season.
22-year-old Jack Butel returned to the British LMP3 sports car category for a second season after finishing third in the overall standings last year. With several strong test sessions under his belt, the Jerseyman was prepared to fight at the very front in 2018.
The first round took place at Donington Park in Derbyshire. With the circuit adjacent to East Midlands Airport, the St Saviour resident was hoping to fly around the 2.5-mile venue. In qualifying, Dominic Paul and young-gun Butel looked comfortable – nestling the Speedworks prepared machine into third and fifth in the two qualifying sessions for the two races that lay ahead.
In the opening race of the season on the Saturday the team started third on the grid. The pairing worked their way up to second before a tough race followed, with the Speedworks team crossing the line in seventh.
A new day and a new start for Jack and the team. Lining-up in fifth for the Sunday afternoon race, the combination of Butel and Paul had only one goal in mind, climb the field and head towards the podium. Gelling with the car and his new teammate, Jack was on the pace once again and before too long the striking blue French machine was mixing it in the overall classification. At the fall of the flag, the duo chalked up fifth overall – just seven seconds shy of a rostrum finish.
As the dust settled from the inaugural round of the championship, Jack Butel reflected upon his weekends work.
“It was a good, solid weekend to start the year off,” explained Butel.
“It was great to race with Dominic [Paul]. He didn’t have much seat time before the weekend and he drove really well and improved with every session. With more testing I think we can be challenging for a podium at the next round.”
The next round of the UK LMP3 Cup will be held at Brands Hatch in Kent on the 19/20 May. Butel and his Speedworks team will once again challenge for honours as they eye a return to the rostrum once again.