02/10/2016

Price ends season with first win as Whorton-Eales becomes Champion

Ant Whorton-Eales is the 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion but only after surviving dramas in today’s highly charged final round which resulted in his title rival Mike Bushell crashing out and Josh Price being gifted a first race win in the championship.
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JamSport’s Whorton-Eales went into the race knowing a top three finish would be enough to clinch the crown and at the start took an immediate lead from Team Pyro’s Bushell.

However following a brief safety car period – required to retrieve the stricken car of JamSport’s George Jackson – 4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Paul Rivett immediately made his move for the lead and this was the moment that decided the destiny of the title.

His and Whorton-Eales’s cars made contact and ran off the track while the following Bushell was delayed as he took avoiding action. As Whorton-Eales’s car rejoined the circuit he and Bushell inadvertently side-swiped one another and the latter was sent spinning into the barriers and out of the race.

That automatically meant Whorton-Eales was the new Champion but the incident had allowed Pyro youngster Price through into the lead. And there he stayed, comfortably managing the gap to the chasing Charlie Ladell (WDE) and then Max Coates (Ciceley Motorsport) for his first race victory in the championship.

Notably Price becomes the seventh different driver to win a race in 2016. He commented: "It's almost a case of third time lucky – I came close to the win at Croft earlier in the year and close again yesterday but this time we've got it. When I saw Charlie and Max fighting in my mirrors I knew it was my chance to get the hammer down and escape up front. It's just the best feeling."

Behind, Coates eventually got the measure of Ladell to take second place. Ladell was third but had to fight hard to safeguard the position from BMR/Pyro’s Senna Proctor who was right behind at the end in fourth. PP Motorsport’s James Colburn, Finesse Motorsport’s Paul Streather, Whorton-Eales and Team Cooksport pair Lee Pattison and Rory Collingbourne all followed in close company.

Likewise Nanobite powered by JamSport’s Chris Smiley held off the recovering Rivett and Ciceley’s Dan Zelos to take tenth. Rivett, though, later received a time penalty that demoted him to 16th position meaning he loses out to Coates for third third in the final standings by just one point...

Meanwhile the race came to a premature end when JamSport’s Luke Kidsley – running in seventh – was sent into a roll when his car ran off the track and into the barriers. Kidsley was uninjured but the race was immediately red flagged and a result declared.

Pyro’s David Dickenson and JamSport trio Paul Donkin, James Grint and Graham Field were classified 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th.