02/10/2016

Whorton-Eales feeling sorry for Bushell but “ecstatic” to be Champion

New Champion Ant Whorton-Eales has praised arch rival Mike Bushell after their intense 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup title battle came to a head at Brands Hatch today.
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JamSport Racing’s Whorton-Eales was guaranteed the crown when Team Pyro’s Bushell crashed out of the season’s final race. By coincidence this was when their cars made contact along Cooper Straight while both were recovering from an incident caused when Whorton-Eales and 4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Paul Rivett had clashed while disputing the lead…

Whorton-Eales finished the race in seventh position but that was more than enough to see him crowned the 2016 Champion. He later collected the very special Champion’s ‘Barrie Williams Trophy – presented by the former Renault Sport racing great on the podium.

“I feel very sorry for Mike – he didn’t deserve to lose it like that,” commented Whorton-Eales. “But then again I always felt we had the beating of him in that race and the title would come to us so I’m going to be greedy and really savour this moment. I feel ecstatic!

“The incident between us was a shame. I’d got into a big slid in the contact with Rivett and did all I could to control the best I could – luckily I kept it from spinning back into the pack but it just so happened that as I was getting it straightened up then who else but Mike had to be there, we made contact and off he went.

“He’s been a great rival all season and at times his form has been phenomenal – a real class act who has shown why he won the title in 2014.”

He added: “From when I first started in this championship five years ago… to finally get it is just a really magical moment. And particularly for the JamSport team who have been brilliant all season. Together we’ve won nine of the 18 races and I think that fact alone speaks a lot for how well we’ve worked together and how strong we’ve been all year.”

Bushell said: “At first I didn’t know quite what happened or who the contact had been with but when I saw the replays it was clear it was just one of those unfortunate things. We’ve gone all season without a retirement and then to have two in one weekend – it just wasn’t to be in the end, I guess.

“But I want to congratulate Ant on his crown. I’ve had 12 pole positions; he’s had nine wins. Someone had to lose out; someone had to win and he’s a very deserving champion.”