Bushell recovers from early drama for Croft race one victory

Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell fought back from third place to win a rain-soaked Renault UK Clio Cup race at Croft Circuit on Saturday – a victory he later described as one of the best of his career.
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Bushell led initially from pole position but an error several laps in while exiting the chicane allowed Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates and DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom to jump him on the run to Tower Bend.

He was quick to fight back however and, after a brave move around the outside of Rowbottom at Clervaux Corner, he only had Coates to go to regain first place. The move came into Tower where he again took the outside line, holding on at the exit to ease past Coates for the lead.

Thereafter he proved untouchable, drawing clear to win by three and a half seconds. Two bonus points for setting the fastest lap meant he came away with a maximum score to further extend his championship lead.

Behind, Coates’s and Rowbottom’s battle for second came to a head when they tripped over one another at Clervaux – this enabling Bushell’s Pyro team-mate Nathan Harrison to sneak past them both in an opportunistic move.

Harrison would cross the line in second ahead of Rowbottom in third, the latter eventually getting the better of Coates entering Tower. Coates would slip to an eventual sixth after being also passed by WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett and Pyro’s Jack McCarthy.

The result marks Bushell’s first win at Croft and puts him a mammoth 55 points clear of closest rival Lee Pattison at the top of the standings – WDE’s Pattison finished the race in seventh after a brief off…

“It was a wild moment coming out of the chicane,” reflected Bushell. “After that I could have settled for third with the championship in mind but I want to win races so was going for it. It’s definitely one of my best.”

Harrison said: “Things were getting very close with Coates and Rowbottom and when they had their moment the door opened and I’ll take that any day. Second at Oulton Park; second here – I’m delighted.”

Rowbottom commented: “I’m happy with third but felt it should have been second… Max made an error and came back onto the track in front of me and it cost us both a place to Harrison. At least I got him later.”

Behind Pattison in seventh, PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn, Ciceley's Jade Edwards and JamSport’s Aron Thompson completed the top ten – the latter two enjoying their best results to date. Likewise Pyro’s Lucas Orrock in 11th after recovering from a spin which dropped him to 17th…

Pyro’s Kyle Hornby was right behind Orrock in 12th at the flag as WDE’s Dan Zelos took 13th after a grassy moment. Ciceley pair Sam Osborne and Luke Reade – the latter after a spin – were next up ahead of JamSport’s Graham Field who damaged his car with an off at Sunny In. Westbourne’s Sam Randon was the last finisher in 17th, a lap behind after a pit stop for attention to his car.

WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton and Westbourne’s James Dorlin both crashed out, the latter on the opening lap – both their incidents triggered brief safety car periods. Shayne Deegan was also a retirement, his SDR car stopping with a mechanical problem.

CLICK HERE for full race result.