01/10/2017

Two out of two for Bushell at Brands Hatch GP, Graduates Cup title to Harrison

Mike Bushell ended his title-winning 2017 Renault UK Clio Cup season with his second victory of the weekend on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit – again ahead of Dan Zelos as, further back, Nathan Harrison secured the Graduates Cup crown.
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As he has so many times in 2017, Team Pyro’s Bushell started today’s final round of the season from pole position and took full advantage to grab the lead at the first bend.

WDE Motorsport’s Zelos was able to snatch second place ahead as Pyro’s Lucas Orrock and Westbourne Motorsport’s James Dorlin disputed third.

However at Graham Hill Bend both were passed in a bold move by Pyro’s Jack McCarthy. Orrock kept going in fourth but Dorlin was badly delayed and, from there, his chances of pipping Harrison to Graduates Cup title started to fall apart…

Up front the top three quickly drew away and would end Bushell-Zelos-McCarthy as Orrock got clear of those behind him to take a lonely fourth. Indeed the most entertaining battle was that for fifth – won in the end by Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates who had to soak up immense pressure in the closing laps from DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom who finished in sixth. Coates though would later be handed a time penalty which relegated him to an eventual ninth in the final result...

Bushell said: “I’ve never won on the Brands Hatch GP circuit before this weekend and then suddenly two come along at once. In fact I’d never won a race at Brands full stop until the start of the year, even though it’s my home circuit – so one on the Indy lay-out back in the spring and another two this weekend… I’m pretty happy and it’s the perfect way to round out the season.”

Zelos commented: “I’d not had a podium result until yesterday’s race and now another second… It’s been a really good year for me with WDE Motorsport and I’ve come on leaps and bounds as a driver. To end the season like this is just great.”

PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn and WDE team-mates Lee Pattison and Paul Rivett were all in the mix throughout but in the end had to settle for sixth, seventh and eighth. Rounding out the top ten (behind the re-classified Coates) and closing in on this trio by the end was impressive Pyro youngster Zak Fulk who also set the race’s fastest lap time…

The result means that Rivett has secured the Masters Cup title for older drivers as well as second in the championship outright ahead of Pattison in third and Coates in fourth.

Meanwhile finishing 11th in today's race was Pyro’s Harrison who, with Dorlin having needed a pit stop to have damage to his car repaired after a tangle mid-race, was assured of the Graduates Cup – for young drivers in their first full season in the UK Clio Cup.

Harrison said: “I actually didn’t think too hard about what I needed to do and instead chose to just drive the best race I could – it was only when I got back to the pit lane that I had it confirmed. It’s a great feeling.”

MRM Racing’s Brett Lidsey took 12th just ahead of Westbourne’s Ben Palmer. Ciceley’s Aaron Thompson, recovering from early dramas, took 14th ahead of WDE’s Sam Osborne who was in a heavily repaired car following an accident in Saturday’s race.

WDE’s Luke Reade recovered from a spin to take 16th ahead of STR Norwich’s Shawn Taylor and the hobbled Dorlin…

CLICK HERE for full race result.