01/09/2016

And then there were five… Maths say Bushell can be crowned 2016 UK Clio Cup Champion at Silverstone

Different weather conditions and fortunes in Rockingham’s two Renault UK Clio Cup rounds last weekend had a dramatic effect on the title race with the 15 drivers still in with a chance of the crown prior to the event suddenly slashed to just five…
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It seemed that the four main protagonists – Mike Bushell, Ant Whorton-Eales, Max Coates and Paul Rivett – were the only drivers to enjoy relatively trouble-free runs in both races.

However there were scares along the way for both Ciceley Motorsport’s Coates and JamSport’s Whorton-Eales. Coates lost a possible fourth in race one with a last lap spin, although he was at least able to recover and finish in eighth on a flooded track; in much more predictable dry conditions, Whorton-Eales then needed all his considerable skills to keep his car on the road when it tangled with Rivett's WDE machine. He eventually finished the race in fourth...

It was these four, though, that commanded the podium positions in the two races to leave themselves comfortably clear of the rest as the season moves on to Silverstone for its penultimate rounds later this month.

One of these it now seems will be crowned the 2016 UK Clio Cup Champion: 81 points cover them with four races to go; just 49 when the hallowed two-dropped-scores rule is applied.

Consider that the approaching final four rounds – two each at Silverstone and Brands Hatch – still carry a maximum of 136...

By dint of the fact he is leading the standings outright, Team Pyro’s Bushell could become Champion for the second time in his career at Silverstone if he extends his current 22-point advantage over nearest rival Whorton-Eales to more than 68 points there. It’s a big ask…

Meanwhile Lee Pattison in a distant fifth is the ‘last man standing’ – ie the only driver who could still stop Bushell, Whorton-Eales, Coates or Rivett. But with 127 points to make up (97 on dropped scores) the Team Cooksport ace would be the first to admit that the task surely is next to futile.

Elsewhere Coates could provisionally make the Graduates Cup for young first-year drivers his at Silverstone – regardless of what then happens in the Brands Hatch finale. His nearest challengers are BMR/Pyro pair Josh Price and Senna Proctor, 106 and 107 points behind respectively in second and third. If 65 points clear after Silverstone's two races, Coates will be uncatchable heading to Brands...

Similarly Team Pyro is poised to achieve another Entrants’ championship success – 130 points ahead of new second-placed WDE Motorsport after Rockingham’s rounds, it needs only to be 121 clear after Silverstone’s races to effectively be home and dry.