01/06/2016

Bushell ‘fired up’ for Oulton Park but wary of Whorton-Eales pace

Mike Bushell says he is going all out for victories in Oulton Park’s Renault UK Clio Cup rounds this weekend to make up for the disappointment of losing a seemingly certain win at Thruxton last time out…
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The 2014 Champion goes to Oulton a highly competitive second in the standings just six points behind Paul Rivett but knows that gap could have been as little as two had a costly time penalty at Thruxton not denied him of the win.

Team Pyro star Bushell says a victory at Oulton would be extra sweet, although he will go into the event still getting over treatment for a painful trapped nerve in his back.

“I went into Thruxton 27 points behind Rivett and fourth in the table and came out just six behind and up to second so it was a success, but I’m still narked at not keeping the win,” he said.

“I’m very fired up for Oulton and maybe have a bit of the red mist about me. I’m determined to put right what went wrong at Thruxton.

“For that reason alone a win there would be very good but, more than that, I’ve not been on the podium before at Oulton plus it’d be a bit of relief after the pain I’ve been in recently with my back.

“The last time I raced at Oulton I rolled in qualifying. It’s a circuit I’ve struggled in the past to get a rhythm going but hopefully my age and wisdom can help me out this time.”

Bushell believes he and Pyro have now got on top of the set-up issues with the rear of his car that he says cost them dear in qualifying at Brands Hatch and Donington.

He added: “It cost us because when it’s this competitive you have to be starting on the first two rows but at Thruxton we sort of left it alone and stuck with what we know and it worked fine. We know the direction to go in from here.”

However while he seemed to have an edge over the rest at Thruxton, Bushell admits to being wary of JamSport driver Ant Whorton-Eales’s form. At Brands Hatch he twice drove from the back of a 23-car grid to take eighth and sixth-place results and has since won three out of four races. Fourth in the standings ‘AWE’ goes to Oulton very much within striking distance of Rivett and Bushell…

Bushell continued: “Rivett has said on your website he doesn’t see me as a danger man. But if there’s someone we all need to watch for it is Whorton-Eales.

“He is driving brilliantly at the moment – the difference in him from 2014 when I last raced against him is immense. He has very enviable pace and seems to be able to maintain a metronomic consistency in the races.

“One thing that has struck me is we have a triple champion at the top, a one-time champ second, someone who’s almost won it before in third and the chap who was third last year in fourth. The cream always seems to rise to the top…”