Points leader Bushell expecting UK Clio Cup title race to go to Brands Hatch finale

Mike Bushell has given himself a ‘zero out of ten’ chance of being crowned 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion in the season’s penultimate rounds at Silverstone this weekend (Sat 17/Sun 18 Sept).
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Team Pyro driver Bushell could put the title beyond the reach of main rivals Ant Whorton-Eales, Paul Rivett and Max Coates if he leaves the Northants circuit more than 68 points clear at the top of the table.

Currently he leads the standings by 22 points (from Whorton-Eales) with a maximum of 68 available from Silverstone’s two races. That includes bonus points for setting the fastest lap in each.

But commented Bushell: “Without hesitation I’d say it’s a zero out of ten chance of it being decided at Silverstone.

“It’d be wishful thinking but it is not going to happen – Ant is too good for that, for starters. This one’s going all the way to the final rounds at Brands Hatch.”

Bushell has achieved pole position starts in qualifying for each of the last four rounds and converted two of those into race victories.

However the other two wins have gone the way of Whorton-Eales and Bushell says needs to up his game again if he’s to keep the JamSport driver at bay.

“After race one at Rockingham I spent a very glum night in my motorhome,” he continued. “I’d gone from pole to third and Ant had gone from tenth to first – OK the weather made it highly unpredictable but it was the same for everyone and hats off to Ant; that was a phenomenal drive and I had no answer to it.

“People might say ‘you won the title in 2014 so you must know every trick in the book’ but it’s not like that when you are up against drivers of the calibre of Ant, Rivett, Coates and a few others I could name. Just look how hard Paul pushed me for the win in race two at Rockingham – every lap has to be at the limit without error.”

Bushell is also wary that in the UK Clio Cup there is often some random factor that can creep in and ruin even the best-laid plans.

He added: “Getting pole always gives you a great chance of going for the win but you never quite know what’s going to happen on that opening lap – you never stop learning.

“Of course you plan but at the same time you just have to see what you get in the first few bends and then react to it.

“My other big thing is getting the car away off the line really well – Ant seems to be the king of that at the moment.”