Bushell wins Donington race 1 after surviving opening lap drama

Mike Bushell has won the first of Donington Park’s two Renault UK Clio Cup races – restarted after a multiple pile-up shortly after the start – ahead of Lee Pattison who inherited second after officials stripped Max Coates of the position.
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The race was red-flagged just seconds after its original start when up to a dozen cars became involved in a frightening collision on the run to the Craner Curves.

WDE team-mates Paul Rivett and Lee Pattison were involved in a tangle with SDR’s Shayne Deegan and this triggered various incidents behind. Deegan’s car span backwards on to the track and was collected by two other cars, one of them JamSport’s unsighted Aaron Thompson.

Meanwhile JamSport’s Lucas Orrock suffered a barrel roll in an incident that also accounted for Team Pyro’s Ollie Pidgley, Westbourne’s Oscar Rovelli and Ciceley’s Luke Reade. Ciceley’s Coates and WDE’s Paul Streather also went missing only to eventually return in time for the re-start some time later.

At the re-start Pattison moved into an immediate lead but as the race progressed his advantage was eaten into by Pyro trio Bushell, Jack McCarthy and Ash Hand plus Coates.

Through Coppice Corner Bushell made his move and after a brief rub with Pattison moved by into the lead. The delayed Pattison was also passed by Coates and McCarthy who, having set the race’s fastest lap, was then cruelly forced into retirement at the side of the track.

Entering the final lap Coates was all over Bushell for the lead as Pattison had to fight back to reclaim third from Hand and Ciceley’s Sam Osborne and Pyro’s Nathan Harrison moved in to make it a six-car train at the front. Despite various attempted moves this is how the order stayed to the chequered flag, the top six covered by just 2.144 seconds at the chequered flag.

Later though officials excluded Coates from the results after judging he had infringed the rules surrounding race re-starts. This promoted Pattison to second, Hand to third, Osborne to fourth and Harrison to fifth.

Westbourne’s James Dorlin was classified sixth ahead of team-mate Myles Collins and the remarkable Rivett – eighth after starting stone last from the pit lane along with team-mates Zelos and Paul Streather. PP/Westbourne’s James Colburn and Pyro’s Kyle Hornby rounded out the top ten.

Zelos was 11th with DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom 12th – he had been in second early on but accidentally caught the pit lane speed limiter switch inside his car which caused him to plummet down the order. Westbourne’s Ambrogio Perfetti was 13th ahead of JamSport’s Graham Field and STR’s Shawn Taylor who fought all the way to the line in their battle for 14th and 15th. Ciceley’s Jade Edwards completed the finishers in 16th.

In addition to those eliminated in the earlier pile-up and McCarthy, Streather also failed to finish – his car spinning into retirement after a brush with Field.