26/08/2016

Bushell fastest in Rockingham test and relishing prospect of Rivett battle

For the fifth event in a row championship leader Mike Bushell topped Rockingham’s official Renault UK Clio Cup test day but later admitted to it being hard work.
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Team Pyro ace Bushell was the only man to break the one minute, 30 seconds barrier in Friday’s two one-hour sessions – like all bar two drivers setting his best time of 1m29.849s in the second of them.

4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Paul Rivett – one of his four chief title rivals – was second fastest (1m30.006s) ahead of Bushell’s young team-mates, BMR-backed Senna Proctor and Josh Price in third and fourth.

Bushell, also fastest in the morning session, commented: “I really had to find a bit of set-up to achieve that and the circuit it seems is a bit slower than on Media Day back in March. It’s also very hard work inside the cars – the temperatures today have been very hot.

“If qualifying worked out the same way tomorrow I’d be happy as I’m really looking forward at some stage to a good battle with Paul. However it could all be in vain if qualifying is wet and the forecast tomorrow is a bit mixed.”

Meanwhile Finesse Motorsport’s Paul Streather, who topped the times for much of the faster second session, wound up fifth fastest in today’s test. Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison (tying with Rivett for fourth in the standings), Nanobite powered with JamSport’s Chris Smiley and Ciceley Motorsport’s Dan Zelos completed the top eight.

By contrast, Bushell’s closest title rivals Ant Whorton-Eales (JamSport) and Max Coates (Ciceley) were back in ninth and 15th places. Whorton-Eales looked content to sit out the end of the session while Coates’s running ended early when his car stopped in the pit lane with a deflated front right tyre.

Just over one second covered the 18 runners with tiny fractions of a second often making the difference – Zelos and Whorton-Eales were tied to the thousandth on 1m30.436s!

CLICK HERE for today’s full testing times including sector analysis and speed trap figures.