26/08/2017

Coates wins race one from Pattison & McCarthy but tenth for Bushell means title on hold

Max Coates held off Lee Pattison to win the Renault UK Clio Cup’s opening race at Rockingham as Jack McCarthy took a maiden outright podium result in third but points leader Mike Bushell could only manage a troubled tenth…
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Ciceley Motorsport’s Coates used his pole position advantage to hold the lead through the crucial Deene Hairpin on the opening lap and from there was never headed.

After starting third WDE Motorsport’s Pattison had emerged from Deene in second and he would spend the rest of the race chasing Coates, finishing runner-up just half a second adrift. He set a new lap record along the way…

McCarthy came home a lonely third, the highest placed driver in the Graduates Cup class for young 'rookies' after finding a way by three-time Champion Paul Rivett who needed to call on all his experience to hold on to fourth ahead of a seven-car queue behind him.

An elated Coates commented: “That was hard work as Lee was always there in my mirrors but the opening lap worked in my favour and after that we were very evenly matched. I’m chasing Lee and Paul for second in the championship and this helps massively.”

Pattison said: “I had a great start and actually got my nose ahead into Turn 1 at the start – I think we were four abreast into there! But Max had the line into the hairpin so could control things and after that was always just out of reach.”

And said 17-year-old McCarthy: “At last I’ve got my first podium – we were close at the start of the season and then had a bit of bad luck but this feels great. My lap times were also right up there with Max’s and Lee’s so it’d have been interesting if I’d been with them to begin with…”

That queue behind Rivett was headed by PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn who initially had joined Pattison in fighting for the lead at the start. Close behind throughout and completing the top ten were DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom, Pyro’s Lucas Orrock, WDE’s Dan Zelos, Ciceley’s Luke Reade and Bushell.

Bushell had started seventh but found himself pushed back to 15th on the opening lap. Cue a hasty recovery drive but the result – Bushell’s worst of the season by far – means he now cannot be crowned Champion at Rockingham in race two tomorrow which will be shown live on ITV4…

His lead now over Pattison (back ahead of team-mate Rivett into second in the standings) is down to 86 points meaning the most he could extend it to in tomorrow’s second race is 120 – not enough to put the title out of reach before Silverstone’s races in three weeks’ time…

Meanwhile Bushell’s Pyro team-mate Nathan Harrison completed today’s race in 11th. Pyro’s two 16-year-old debutants, Zak Fulk and Bradley Burns, took the next two places.

Westbourne’s James Dorlin came out on top in the race’s most entertaining battle to finish 14th ahead of Ciceley’s Sam Osborne, JamSport’s Aaron Thompson and WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton.

Another newcomer, Bob Ross Racing’s JJ Ross was closing on all them as he took 18th ahead of STR’s Shawn Taylor in 19th. Ciceley’s Jade Edwards completed the order after an opening lap spin…

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