As ever the UK Clio Cup will be racing alongside the high-profile Dunlop British Touring Car Championship which, when at Silverstone, always draws one of the venue’s biggest crowds of the year. Free admission for children, excellent viewing from the circuit’s vast grandstands and an ‘open paddock’ policy add to the public appeal.
Furthermore Silverstone’s high-speed National circuit configuration being raced on is famous for encouraging spectacular slipstreaming action and its short length also means fans get more laps for their buck. CLICK HERE to book tickets.
For those not able to attend the event then Sunday’s action – including the second of the weekend’s two UK Clio Cup races – will be shown live on ITV4.
Team Pyro’s Bushell leads the drivers’ standings by 22 points from nearest challenger Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) who races for the local Northampton team JamSport. If Bushell extends his lead to 69 points in Silverstone’s two races then he will be unassailable as there will only be a maximum of 68 available from the season finale at Brands Hatch a fortnight later.
Bushell already has one UK Clio Cup title to his name having come out on top against current BTCC star Josh Cook in 2014. Notably it was Cook’s 2016 BTCC team-mate Ashley Sutton who won 2015’s UK Clio Cup following an intense battle against Whorton-Eales (they shared the wins at Silverstone 12 months ago).
Adding to the tension is the fact that when the championship’s all-important two-dropped-scores rule is currently applied then Bushell and Whorton-Eales are actually tying on points at the top of the table. In fact on a tie-breaker it is Whorton-Eales who is leading courtesy of his seven wins so far in 216 compared to the three of Bushell…
However it is not just Whorton-Eales who Bushell needs to worry about at Silverstone for Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates (Scorton) and 4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Paul Rivett (Epsom Downs) are also very much in touch, in third and fourth positions in the championship. Rivett in particular has shown some scintillating pace of late and with three previous titles to his name knows every trick in the book. He also holds the UK Clio Cup’s race lap record around Silverstone.
Fifth overall is Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison (Scholes) and in theory he could yet stop the lot but acknowledges it’s ‘mission impossible’. He will be more interested perhaps in reminding everyone of the form that saw him lead the table earlier in the year… So, too, Finesse Motorsport’s Paul Streather (Hinckley), the season’s first winner, whose sixth place in the standings is suddenly under threat from three youngsters – WDE’s Charlie Ladell (Bury St Edmunds) and BMR/Pyro pair Josh Price (Redbourn) and Senna Proctor (Driffield).
Each is capable of wins or podiums as are Pyro’s David Dickenson (Wicklow), JamSport trio Luke Kidsley (Northampton), George Jackson (Bedford) and the Nanobite-backed Chris Smiley (Carrickfergus), Cooksport duo Rory Collingbourne (Newport) and Shayne Deegan (Cambridge) and Ciceley pair Dan Zelos (Dereham) and Ollie Pidgley (Salisbury).
Silverstone also marks the re-appearance of several drivers: former British karting star Daniel Rowbottom (Kidderminster), on pole for his UK Clio Cup debut at Brands Hatch in April, is back under his own DRM banner; after two outings earlier in the season, British GT4 Champion Jake Giddings (Wisbech) is reunited with his family’s Finesse squad; a return for Graham Field (Southwell) meanwhile means for the first time in its history a five-car entry for JamSport…
In addition, 12 months on from impressing on his debut, Ben Davis (Much Marcle) makes a one-off outing in an R-Tech Welding/Pyro car.
The UK Clio Cup drivers will first be on track at Silverstone on the Friday (16 Sept) with two timed practice sessions to enable them to fine-tune their cars’ set-ups to the circuit’s characteristics. On the Saturday comes the half-hour timed qualifying session (11.25am) that will decide the starting grid orders for the two races. The first of those takes place later that afternoon (4.30pm); the second on Sunday (1.45pm). Both are 18 laps in distance.