Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells) and James Colburn (Worthing) took a pole position apiece during qualifying at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Saturday, 30th March, for the opening two rounds of the 2013 season –continuing Westbourne Motorsport’s outstanding start to the weekend.
Having been first and second fastest respectively in pre-event practice yesterday, the team-mates again led the way in the all-important qualifying session with Bushell claiming the race one pole with a time of 52.555 seconds (82.74mph) – edging out Colburn by a mere 0.018 seconds.
“I took quite a big chance in qualifying, we went with a different strategy and had a bit of a one lap wonder really”, commented Bushell, who went just over 0.2 seconds quicker than he did on Friday, “It’s fantastic to be on pole for the first round.”
Colburn turned the tables with his second fastest time of the half-hour session to secure the round two pole position with a lap of 52.595 seconds (82.68mph), underlining the Westbourne duo’s great consistency on the 1.2-mile Kent track. “With both me and Mike [Bushell] at the front, it shows we’re the leading team in Clios so far this season”, added Colburn.
Behind the all-Westbourne front-row for tomorrow’s opening race, JHR Development’s Josh Cook (Bristol) will line-up third on the grid – just 0.043 seconds shy of pole – with racing returnee, and saloon car rookie, Alex Morgan (Reading) a sensational fourth for reigning champions Team Pyro.
Jake Giddings (Wisbech) qualified his Finesse Motorsport car fifth for race one, Pyro’s Josh Files (Norwich) was sixth and three-time champion Paul Rivett (Banstead), who only confirmed his eleventh hour return to the series on Wednesday, was seventh quickest for PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering ahead of Total Control Racing’s Rob Smith (Telford).
Morgan will line-up on the front-row of the grid alongside Colburn for the live, televised second round of the season on Sunday afternoon – which will be screened on ITV4 and ITV4 HD – with a second best time only 0.017 seconds shy of pole.
Files and Bushell will be on the second row, Cook and Rivett will comprise row three and Giddings and Smith will line-up on row four. Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch), one of the undoubted pre-season favourites, could only manage 12th on the grid for round one and ninth for round two, although was one of four drivers to have their fastest time disallowed for exceeding track limits.
In terms of the Graduate Cup, Colburn has both pole position starts for the weekend while in the Masters Cup, Handy Motorsport with Pyro’s Simon Belcher (Swindon) claimed both class poles and will begin race one from 15th overall and race two from 14th position.
The opening round of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup will begin the on-track action at Brands Hatch tomorrow, Sunday, 31st March, at 10.20 with round two set to follow at 15.35. The second of the two races will be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4, on ITV4 HD and will be streamed live on www.itv.com/btcc
Renault UK Clio Cup is sponsored by www.buyoils.co.uk with support from ELF, NGK Spark Plugs, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.