Title race goes to Sunday's finale as Rivett denies Price for victory in Brands Hatch race one

The 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup will come down to the very last race of the season after title protagonists Mike Bushell and Ant Whorton-Eales retired and finished fourth respectively in Saturday’s highly dramatic penultimate round at Brands Hatch – won in the end by Paul Rivett.
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The race needed to be started afresh after the first attempt ended in a red-flag stoppage following a multiple collision on a damp track which accounted for WDE Motorsport’s Charlie Ladell, Ciceley Motorsport’s Ollie Pidgley and JamSport Racing pair Luke Kidsley and James Grint.

At the restart Team Pyro’s Bushell, on pole position, fell to third place while JamSport’s Whorton-Eales initially got away in front only to be quickly passed for the lead by 4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Rivett.

A safety car period was then required to retrieve Paul Streather’s stricken Finesse Motorsport car. This is when Bushell came unstuck – slithering off the greasy track and becoming stranded in a gravel trap while still under the safety car caution period.

This suddenly meant that if Whorton-Eales won the race or finished it in second place and collected the bonus points for setting the fastest lap then he would provisionally be Champion. But it was not to be…

As he tried to grab the lead from Rivett at the restart, both ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend and the following Josh Price (Pyro) seized his opportunity and punched past both into first position. Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison also squeezed by the recovering Whorton-Eales to grab third place.

Pattison then did well to control a huge slid and retain third but his moment delayed all those behind – including Whorton-Eales – leaving Price and Rivett alone in a race for the win up front. Exiting Westfield Bend for the final time, Price made the tiniest of errors and that was enough for Rivett to move past with just the Sheene, Stirlings and Clearways corners to go.

Rivett, the three-time Champion, thus took the win from youngster Price while Pattison was able to fend off Whorton-Eales for a strong third place.

It all means that heading into Sunday’s final round on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, Whorton-Eales now leads Bushell at the top of the standings by 14 points overall which becomes ten when the two-dropped-scores rule is applied.

A top-three finish will guarantee Whorton-Eales the crown. However it will go Bushell's way if he takes a maximum score (win and fastest lap) and Whorton-Eales finishes outside the top three.

CLICK HERE for the overnight points.

Meanwhile BMR/Pyro’s Senna Proctor was an excellent fifth in today’s race. That was despite being forced to start from the pit lane and later suffering front-end damage to his car in a brush with Ciceley’s Max Coates who finished in sixth.

JamSport’s Chris Smiley, PP Motorsport’s James Colburn, JamSport’s George Jackson and Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne followed in a train to complete the top ten. Collingbourne had made up huge amounts of ground after getting away late from the pit lane… Ciceley’s Dan Zelos survived two spins to take 11th ahead of JamSport’s Paul Donkin and Graham Field who completed the runners.

Elsewhere, having featured strongly among the leading positions early on, Pyro’s David Dickenson also succumbed to the perilous conditions at mid-distance, joining Streather and Bushell in retirement.