Firstly, those 470 miles mentioned – that’s actually the equivalent of driving west from Snetterton to Donington Park then south to Silverstone and on to Thruxton and finally east before finishing at Brands Hatch. Just saying…
It comes perhaps as no surprise that the driver who won most races in 2016 also led more laps and miles than anyone else, but it wasn’t until towards the end of the season that Ant Whorton-Eales’s name truly started to dominate both these charts.
Sure, after Rockingham (rounds 13 and 14 of 18) he was ahead on laps led but it was tight with his 53 playing against Mike Bushell’s 50. In fact at that stage Bushell was actually ahead on miles led, 115.7 to AWE’s 114.9 – now that’s close!
However two victories at Silverstone for Whorton-Eales (both effectively lights-to-flag wins) plus a brief spell in the lead of Brands Hatch’s final round really put it to bed. In the end he wound up on 91 laps/179.6683 laps/miles led compared to Bushell’s totals of 51 and 117.3534 respectively.
Again it comes as no surprise that all those laps and miles led translated into plenty of wins for Whorton-Eales and nine out of 18 is a terrific achievement when the standards across the UK Clio Cup grid have become so high these past two seasons…
This was reflected by the fact that six more drivers were able to take race victories to make it seven different winners in all – three went to Bushell, two to Paul Rivett and one apiece to Paul Streather, Lee Pattison, Max Coates and Josh Price.
Only once in the championship’s history have more than seven drivers shared the wins (eight in 2013). Before that one has to go back to 2007 to find as many as seven.
Notably, our seven winners in 2016 represented six different teams, namely JamSport, BMR/Pyro, Finesse, Cooksport, WDE and Ciceley… Ultimately JamSport cars (Whorton-Eales and Luke Kidsley) led more laps (96) and miles (194.5128) than anyone else. Next up, courtesy of Messrs Bushell and Price, was Pyro (63 laps; 145.6272 miles).
It’s now, though, that the real surprises start. Remarkably given his 50 per cent wins ratio, Whorton-Eales only qualified on pole position once during the whole of 2016. By contrast Bushell was on pole 12 times, although this isn’t quite a record (see the 15 that Jonathan Adam racked up in 2005). Another four drivers – Coates, Rivett, Pattison and Daniel Rowbottom – also managed poles. That’s six drivers on pole in total and as many different teams – Pyro, JamSport, Ciceley, WDE, Cooksport and DRM.
Consider also that of Whorton-Eales’s ten podium results in 2016, nine of them were wins! Ultimately Bushell took the most podium results with 12 in all followed by AWE’s ten, Rivett on nine and Coates on seven. In total ten different drivers achieved podium results during the course of the season – five of them for the first time (Coates, Price, Charlie Ladell, Senna Proctor and Luke Kidsley). Again this meant six different teams – Pyro, JamSport, Ciceley, WDE, Cooksport and Finesse – managed top-three finishes at some point in the season.
Coates pipped Rivett to third in the final standings but it was the latter who ended up comfortably ahead when it came down to laps and miles led (30 to seven and 64.8916 to 14.875).
In fact Rivett led the third highest number of miles of anyone with Price totting up the fourth biggest figure, with 28.2738.
Rivett was again third in the laps led statistics (30) but it was Streather who was fourth with his 23 (27.7817 miles in total). However these were all around the short Brands Hatch Indy circuit. The 12 that Price led were on considerably longer configurations (Croft and Brands Hatch GP) meaning he eclipses Streather on miles in front – by approximately just 800 metres for the whole season!
Finally nine drivers scored bonus points for setting the fastest lap overall in the 18 races – all the above plus another newcomer, Ollie Pidgley, as his season gained momentum in the closing rounds.
Leading statistics: 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup
12 Mike Bushell
2 Max Coates
1 Daniel Rowbottom, Paul Rivett, Ant Whorton-Eales
9 Ant Whorton-Eales
3 Mike Bushell
1 Paul Streather, Lee Pattison, Paul Rivett, Max Coates, Josh Price
5 Mike Bushell
4 Paul Rivett
3 Max Coates
2 Lee Pattison, Josh Price
1 Ant Whorton-Eales
4 Mike Bushell
3 Paul Rivett, Max Coates, Josh Price
2 Charlie Ladell, Senna Proctor
1 Lee Pattison
4 Ant Whorton-Eales
3 Mike Bushell, Paul Rivett
2 Max Coates, Paul Streather
1 Lee Pattison, Charlie Ladell, Luke Kidsley, Ollie Pidgley
91 Ant Whorton-Eales
51 Mike Bushell
30 Paul Rivett
23 Paul Streather
19 Lee Pattison
12 Josh Price
7 Max Coates
5 Luke Kidsley
179.6683 Ant Whorton-Eales
117.3534 Mike Bushell
64.8916 Paul Rivett
28.2738 Josh Price
27.7817 Paul Streather
22.9501 Lee Pattison
14.8750 Max Coates
14.8445 Luke Kidsley