Doube pole for Bushell at Croft, front row starts for home hero Coates & debut sensation Randon

Mike Bushell has taken pole position for both Renault UK Clio Cup rounds at Croft Circuit but the undoubted sensation of a wet qualifying session was Sam Randon who, on his debut in the championship, will line up fourth and then second on the grid for the two races.
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Bushell’s fastest lap of all, of one minute 37.638 seconds, secured him pole for race one – to be held later today at 15:20.

The grid for that race is based on each driver’s fastest time in qualifying and, on this occasion, it was home hero Max Coates in his Ciceley Motorsport car who got closest to Bushell with the second best lap of anyone.

Thus he will start alongside Bushell on the front row of the grid, followed by Bushell’s team-mate Nathan Harrison and the astonishing Randon in his Westbourne Motorsport-run car.

Fifth on the 20-car grid will be WDE’s Lee Pattison, currently second to Bushell in the standings, and sixth DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom.

When it came to second best times – which decide race two’s starting grid – it was Bushell on top again with a lap in 1m37.752s. Randon was second ahead of Harrison and Westbourne’s James Dorlin. Fifth was Coates and sixth James Colburn in his PP Motorsport/Westbourne car.

Colburn felt he could have had pole position for at least one of the races had his car not stuttered with a gearshift problem on the run to the line. Meanwhile Pattison this time was down in tenth…

Bushell has now taken eight out of a possible ten pole positions so far in 2017. He commented: “The session really couldn’t have gone any better and I really enjoy driving this car around this circuit in these conditions – it’s pretty hairy but great fun. I’ve not won at Croft before – it’d be nice to tick that one off.”

Coates, who won at Croft in 2016, said: “Mike’s done it again but I’m up there and right in the hunt and that’s all I was after – I feel we can be stronger in race conditions. A lot of it will be down to getting it off the line well and surviving the first corner which is always tricky here.”

An ecstatic Randon enthused: “I’m surprised to be so high up given how competitive this grid is but it’s a great start. I was going well in the dry yesterday in testing so to do it again in wet conditions certainly puts a smile on my face. Now for my first two races in the UK Clio Cup…”

Leading grid positions, Croft Race 1:
1. Mike Bushell (Team Pyro), 1m37.638s
2. Max Coates (Ciceley Motorsport), +0.316s
3. Nathan Harrison (Team Pyro), +0.393s
4. Sam Randon (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.566s
5. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +0.612s
6. Daniel Rowbottom (DRM), +0.646s
7. James Colburn (PP Motorsport/Westbourne), +0.703s
8. Lucas Orrock (Team Pyro), +0.739s
9. Paul Rivett (4Front/Tachosys/WDE Motorsport, +0.774s
10. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.829s
CLICK HERE for full times

Leading grid positions, Croft Race 2:
1. Mike Bushell (Team Pyro), 1m37.752s
2. Sam Randon (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.634s
3. Nathan Harrison (Team Pyro), +0.651s
4. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.731s
5. Max Coates (Ciceley Motorsport), +0.833s
6. James Colburn (PP Motorsport/Westbourne), +0.893s
7. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +1.003s
8. Paul Rivett (4Front/Tachosys/WDE Motorsport), +1.153s
9. Daniel Rowbottom (DRM), +1.244s
10. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +1.317s
CLICK HERE for full times.