07/05/2017

Bushell soaks up the pressure to win fastest ever Renault UK Clio Cup race at Thruxton

Mike Bushell has taken victory ahead of James Colburn and James Dorlin in today’s dramatic opening Renault UK Clio Cup race at Thruxton which turned out to be the fastest ever recorded in championship history.
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Team Pyro’s Bushell took full advantage of his pole position on the grid to lead into the first corner. From there he was never headed as he rocketed to his second win of the season.

He also achieved the rare feat of pole, win and fastest lap by setting a new lap record for two bonus points.

His win gives him a 32-point lead in the championship – equivalent to a race win – heading into this afternoon’s second race. Furthermore his winning time equated to an average speed of 101.06mph, the fastest ever seen over a race distance in the UK Clio Cup.

However it didn’t come easy. Both Dorlin and Colburn made demon starts to slot into second and third positions before they swapped places after a couple of laps. This came thanks to a great round-the-outside move by Colburn at the right-hand Campbell bend…

Colburn was then quick to move in on Bushell and keep up the pressure right to the end. He finished just 0.695s behind to give PP Motorsport its first podium result in the UK Clio Cup. It was also a first podium outright for Dorlin who – also in a car prepared by Westbourne Motorsport – finished close behind in third.

Bushell commented: “I’m mightily relieved – Colburn was able to close up so fast in my slipstream. To keep him at bay lap after lap and also set a new lap record… that has to be one of my best drives ever.”

Colburn added: “It’s a great result. I knew I had to get on to Mike quickly before he broke the tow but I was also wary of not over-driving and getting a penalty for track limits. I wasn’t going to make it easy for him but second place will do nicely.”

And said Dorlin: “I could see James was a bit quicker than me in the early stages so didn’t fight when he went for the move and hoped he might start fighting with Mike which would bring me back into it. This feels like a real breakthrough result for me in only my fifth UK Clio Cup race.”

Behind Daniel Rowbottom took fourth thanks to a spectacular last-gasp move that took his DRM car ahead of WDE Motorsport’s Lee Pattison at the final bend. Pattison took fifth ahead of WDE team-mate Paul Rivett who moves up to second in the standings.

Pyro’s Nathan Harrison and Jack McCarthy took seventh and ninth positions, sandwiching Ciceley’s Max Coates in eighth. WDE’s Dan Zelos, who lost out from second on the grid at the start, was tenth. Notably positions fourth to tenth were covered by little more than two seconds at the line.

Brett Lidsey was a fine 11th on his and the MRM team’s debut ahead of Pyro trio Ollie Pidgley, Ash Hand and Kyle Hornby who had to fight hard to stave off JamSport’s Lucas Orrock, 15th. Westbourne’s Myles Collins (who survived a scary off), JamSport’s Aaron Thompson (who started from the pit lane) and Ciceley’s Sam Osborne (recovering from a high-speed spin) were next up.

JamSport’s Graham Field took 19th as Ciceley’s Jade Edwards and Luke Reade completed the runners – Edwards having lost considerable time with an off on the opening lap; Reade having lost a lap in the pit lane with damage to his car.