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Another double pole for Bushell as he twice pips Rivett in Rockingham qualifying

Mike Bushell has qualified on pole position for both of this weekend’s Renault UK Clio Cup races at Rockingham – each time ahead of fellow former champion Paul Rivett but there were problems for title protagonist Ant Whorton-Eales…
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On fastest laps, which decide the grid order for race one (at 4.10pm today), Bushell set an outright best of one minute, 29.741 seconds in his Team Pyro car.

4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Rivett, second fastest, managed a best of 1m.29.954s while Bushell’s team-mate Josh Price was the only other driver to break the 1m30s barrier with a lap in 1m29.954s.

However Price must serve a two-place grid penalty following an indiscretion in Snetterton’s previous rounds. He therefore falls to fifth on the race one grid behind another Pyro driver, David Dickenson, and Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates – currently third in the standings behind Bushell and JamSport’s Whorton-Eales. Pyro’s Senna Proctor completed the top six. Just 1.060s covered the 18 runners…

Bushell also set the best second fastest time of anyone to grab pole for race two (on Sunday), again with Rivett in second. The order behind was then Price (who equalled Rivett’s time to the thousandth of a second), Proctor, Coates and Whorton-Eales.

For Whorton-Eales, qualifying was a frustrating affair: sixth for race two was fine but for today’s opening race he will start only tenth.

Bushell’s pole positions are his eighth and ninth of the season. He has also now qualified on pole for four races in a row.

The 2014 Champion commented: “This is my favourite track on the calendar, the car feels perfect and I’m in just the right place to go for two wins. Paul, though, is sure to give me a hard time – he always knows how to turn it on in a race situation – and you can never, ever discount Ant regardless of where he starts. And it could even rain. There are still a lot of unknowns…”

Three-time Champion Rivett, fourth in the standings and who turns 38 today, said: “I’ve said before I might be 50 or so points behind Mike but in this game that’s nothing. I’ve also said I know how important a few wins would be this weekend. I think you know what to expect…”

Dickenson and Price were naturally delighted with their third-place positions. Dickenson is competing with a sore neck after his car was inadvertently collected by Coates during testing on Friday; 17-year-old Price’s performance meanwhile is a continuation of the strong form he has shown during his first full season in the championship (Rockingham marks 12 months since he made his debut in the UK Clio Cup).

CLICK HERE for full qualifying times as well as sector analysis and speed trap figures.