2016 tougher than title-winning year insists new UK Clio Cup leader Bushell

Mike Bushell says he is finding keeping up his push for a second Renault UK Clio Cup title this season harder work than when he won the crown in 2014.
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Bushell moved into the championship lead for the first time this year thanks to a win and a fourth place at Snetterton – helped by the fact that main rival Ant Whorton-Eales suffered a rare retirement in one of the races.

However he says there is still work to do on his race craft which he feels cost him a second win in Snetterton’s second race when a move on Luke Kidsley delayed them both and allowed Whorton-Eales through for the victory.

“I’m actually not thinking about the title as such – because I’m still kicking myself at not winning that one!” commented Bushell.

“To finish it in fourth is a bit gutting when I’d been fighting for the lead – on reflection maybe I was a bit too eager in trying to get past which is why it backfired on me.

“It’ll also teach me not to be so cautious on ‘cold tyres’ on the opening lap – had I not been then perhaps I would have stopped Kidsley getting in front in the first place.

“I’m actually ahead of where I was on points at the same stage as in 2014 so in terms of that it is working out to be a more successful season.

“But it is definitely harder work just because of the number of different drivers who are mixing it up at the front. I’m constantly having to find new levels of competitiveness from within.”

Bushell also believes that the co-operation of team-mates in the season’s final six races – two each at Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch – could massively influence the outcome of the title.

While his Pyro team-mates Senna Proctor, David Dickenson and Josh Price have all shown themselves capable of podium pace, now so has Whorton-Eales’s team-mate Kidsley and he could even start to get a helping hand from new JamSport signing Chris Smiley who shone on his debut at Snetterton.

Bushell added: “Team-mates could definitely make a difference and Ant has certainly found a new ally in Luke who drove very well when he was leading at Snetterton.

“I’m fortunate in that all four of us at Pyro get along and have a laugh in the evenings at race weekends – David even took me out for a curry on my birthday! I feel if they are in a position to help then they will, although we do have an agreement that if you are pulling away then you’re free to just go for it.”