MOTORSPORT star Rory Butcher has secured a place on a new team ahead of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

In news announced this morning, the 33-year-old, whose father, Derek, is the owner and CEO of Knockhill Racing Circuit, will spearhead Toyota Gazoo Racing UK's assault on the upcoming series alongside Sam Smelt.

Butcher, who last year drove for Motorbase Performance, will make his 100th BTCC start in the opening race of the campaign at Thruxton, on May 9 and is one of the most highly-rated drivers in the paddock.

Hacing finished inside the top five of the overall standings in each of the last two years, Butcher has, so far, achieved six race wins; 14 podium finishes; three pole positions; and five fastest laps.

The move will mark his debut for a manufacturer-based outfit, and he commented: "I’m super excited about this new challenge!

"Moving to a manufacturer-backed team has been a goal of mine ever since I joined the BTCC, and I have no doubt that this will give me my best chance yet of truly fighting for the championship.

"I feel hugely proud to be wearing and defending the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK colours and will give it my absolute all both on and off-track.

"Despite 2021 being only my fourth full season in the BTCC, the Corolla will be the fifth touring car I’ve driven so hopefully I can bring some of that knowledge to its continued development and perhaps even improve it further."

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK's team principal, Christian Dick, commented: "We’re all delighted to welcome Rory and Sam to the team for the 2021 campaign.

"We believe they represent the perfect blend of youth and experience and that they can help to drive us forward as we target all three titles for the first time in the BTCC.

"Rory’s calibre is clear to see. It’s easy to forget sometimes that he only has three full seasons in the championship under his belt, because he drives with all the confidence and panache of somebody that has been involved in the BTCC for much longer.

"His progress has been highly impressive – what he has accomplished since making his debut in the series is quite remarkable, and to already have two titles (the 2019 Independents' championship and Jack Sears Trophy) in his pocket is a phenomenal feat.

"Hopefully we can achieve the next one together."

Joining Butcher on the team is 24-year-old Northampton-born Smelt, who previously competed in the BTCC in 2018, which was only his second season out of karts.

Butcher’s move to Toyota Gazoo Racing UK will mark his debut for a Manufacturer-backed outfit, and he will be partnered on the driving front by Smelt, who previously competed in the BTCC in 2018, only his second season out of karts.