Title rivals Bushell & Whorton-Eales to share front row of grid for both final rounds

Mike Bushell and Ant Whorton-Eales will dramatically start alongside each other from the front row of the grid for both the Renault UK Clio Cup’s final two rounds of the season at Brands Hatch in which one of them will be crowned the 2016 Champion.
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Team Pyro’s Bushell set the fastest lap outright in this morning’s wet qualifying session to guarantee himself pole for the first of those two races, to be held this afternoon. His best lap of one minute 49.370 seconds compared with JamSport driver Whorton-Eales’s 1m49.737s.

On second best times, which decide the starting grid order for race two (to be held on Sunday), Bushell did it again with a lap in 1m49.378s. Again Whorton-Eales was ‘best of the rest’ with a time of 1m49.750s.

Bushell’s pole positions are his 11th and 12th out of the 18 round season… He commented: “I’m absolutely delighted with that – we were fastest in dry running in yesterday’s practice sessions and now we’re fastest again in the wet. Two wins and two fastest laps are my goals as that would mean the title but I’m sure it’s not quite going to be that straightforward. We all know how good Ant has been off the line this year…”

Whorton-Eales said: “I’m pretty happy with that – we’re in the ballpark and our race form is always stronger than our qualifying form. To be honest I don’t mind if our races are in the dry or the wet or a mixture of both. I’m feeling comfortable with whatever we get. It’s going to be very exciting for the crowds and ITV4 audience.”

Taking third and fourth on the grid for race one were Pyro’s David Dickenson and 4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Paul Rivett. For race two Rivett was third with Ciceley Motorsport’s Ollie Pidgley a best-ever fourth (this backing up a fine fifth he achieved for race one’s grid).

Notably three-time Champion Rivett set his fastest and next best times early on in the session before slithering off the track at Paddock Hill Bend and damaging his car against a barrier. However fourth and then third on the two grids give him the upper hand over Ciceley’s Max Coates in their battle for third in the final standings. Coates qualified tenth and then eighth fastest for the two races.

Conditions remained perilously wet throughout the session and, in addition to Rivett, there were some hairy moments at Paddock for Dickenson, Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne, BMR/Pyro’s Senna Proctor and even Whorton-Eales who ran off the track through the gravel trap on his cooling down lap after taking the chequered flag…

CLICK HERE for full qualifying times and sector and speed trap analysis.