Bushell initially led away from pole position to head Saturday’s race winner James Dorlin, Rivett and Daniel Rowbottom.
Dorlin though was shuffled down to fourth at Luffield corner and from there the chase was on as Rivett, followed by Rowbottom, set about closing down Bushell.
On lap seven Rivett was right with Bushell and quickly made his move with a bold pass around the outside under braking for Brooklands corner.
From there Rivett would never be headed although his defence thereafter from a determined Bushell allowed not only Rowbottom and Dorlin to keep in touch but also Max Coates, Jack McCarthy, Lucas Orrock and Bradley Burns to close in and make it a spectacular eight-car dice for the lead.
WDE Motorsport’s Rivett held on for victory in his 200th UK Clio Cup race while second for Team Pyro’s Bushell – he was just 0.312s behind at the line – ensured him of the title.
DRM’s Rowbottom clung on to third ahead, in the end, of Ciceley Motorsport’s Coates whose drive through the order from 13th on the grid to an eventual fourth was a real highlight.
Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin took fifth to make it five different teams in the top five. Pyro pair McCarthy and Orrock were next up although their team-mate Burns – who set a new lap record during the race – tumbled to 13th near the end.
Three-time Champion Rivett’s win is the 47th of his remarkable career – he also won his very first race in the category, back in 2001! He commented: “It’s the dream result – I win my 200th race; Mike wins the title. This one is always going to stand out as one of my best and of course it means I continue my record of winning a race in every season I’ve done.
“The move on Mike… I reckoned he wouldn’t put up too big a fight with the title in mind so just went for it. We had a bit of a rub but once I was in front I knew what I had to do to defend.”
Bushell becomes the only driver other than Rivett to win the UK Clio Cup title more than once. He commented: “I’m absolutely ecstatic, of course. I won it in 2014 but this one perhaps means more because of how I have driven – I’ve only been off the podium three times in 16 races.
“I knew Paul would go for the move. I defended as I wanted the race win as well but no way was I going to do anything silly. It was tough as I was attacking him but having to defend as well for most of the race after that so when I crossed the line it was a mixture of elation and relief all at the same time.”
Rowbottom added: “I’ll take third – there’s no disgrace in that when it was in a race that good. Five podiums now for our small one car team are great results.”
Elsewhere Ciceley’s Jade Edwards and MRM Racing’s Brett Lidsey took career best finishes in eighth and ninth. Tenth was PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn, 11th Pyro’s Nathan Harrison, 12th WDE’s Lee Pattison and 13th Burns to complete a highly entertaining six-car tussle that was covered by just 1.7 seconds in the end…
WDE’s Dan Zelos, recovering from a ten second grid penalty, was 14th and Pyro’s Zak Fulk, delayed in a tangle while on the fringes of the top ten, was 15th. WDE’s Sam Osborne, also with a ten second penalty, and JamSport Racing’s Aaron Thompson were 16th and 17th. WDE pair Nicolas Hamilton and Luke Reade, who lost time with an off-track moment, completed the 19 finishers.
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