Bushell made it four wins in a row with victories in both the latest two rounds at Snetterton in Norfolk. He’s now won seven out of the 12 races so far in 2017 and only once has he been off the podium. All added up Bushell now boasts a sizeable 98-point lead over nearest challenger Paul Rivett.
Two more maximum scores (two wins and two fastest laps) at Rockingham and problems for his rivals there could see him stretch his advantage to more than 160 points – greater than the total amount available from the final four rounds at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
A title at Rockingham would be one of the earliest in UK Clio Cup history. Only one other driver has managed to win the crown with four races still to go – Dave Newsham in 2010 when he won the title by an eventual 98 points. Newsham is one of 15 drivers on the current British Touring Car Championship to have come out of the UK Clio Cup.
Notably Bushell is chasing the second title of his career having previously won it in 2014. His closest challenger after Snetterton’s races is triple Champion Paul Rivett… Rivett though is not giving up on the chase and said: “It’s never over until it’s over – this championship has a knack of throwing up surprises and Mike will be wary of that.
“It was probably unlikely before Snetterton’s races that anyone was going to catch him; now it’s just more unlikely, that’s all. Don’t be surprised if somehow it’s still game on when we get to the final two rounds at Brands Hatch…”
Meanwhile the UK Clio Cup is set to welcome one of its youngest ever drivers at Rockingham when Bradley Burns makes his debut aged just 16 years and 25 days old – that’s just two days older than Tom Onslow-Cole when he first raced in the championship in 2003 (before going on to become Champion in 2006).
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Meanwhile here are details of where you can still the see the UK Clio Cup – each time racing alongside the BTCC – in action in 2017. Click on each track to book tickets:
Sat 26/Sun 27 August Rockingham, Northants
Sat 16/Sun 17 September Silverstone, Northants
Sat 30 Sept/Sun 1 Oct Brands Hatch GP, Kent