Mike Bushell spoke to TCF after his heavy accident at Thruxton which left him with a severe leg injury, saying that he is determined to return as early as Oulton Park’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship visit on June 6/7.
The AmD Tuning driver returned to the Hampshire circuit after he had been initially transferred to Southampton General Hospital following the shunt in qualifying on Saturday, his Ford Focus having speared into the barriers exiting Allard after contact with Simon Belcher‘s Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis.
Bushell returned on crutches, having suffered severe ligament damage to his left leg in the accident. Speaking to The Checkered Flag’s Simon Paice on Sunday, the 2014 Renault UK Clio Cup champion said: “The impact was obviously a lot harder than I thought.
“Travelling at such high speed, I just shut my eyes and waited for the impact. I felt I was hurt and I couldn’t get out of the driver’s side door, so I just scrambled out of the car and let the medical staff do their thing.”
On his injuries, Bushell explained: “Torn and stretched ligaments on the inside of my hip-to-leg joint, which means my leg just keeps trying to rotate outwards.”
Although his recovery period remains an obvious unknown at such an early stage, Bushell added that he is determined to return to the series as quickly as possible, citing competing at Oulton Park as his goal.
“Most likely it’ll be a few weeks on crutches, then maybe up to six weeks for the damage to heal up”, he added. “I woke up this morning and I could feel all my other [injured] areas hurting.
“I’ll find a way if I can drive it, but obviously budget-wise, there’s an awful lot of damage to the car. There’s damage to the engine, gearbox and shell.”
Team boss Shaun Hollamby echoed his driver’s disappointment, but also the determination to see Bushell make an early recovery and get the Ford Focus ST repaired in time for Oulton Park.
“His idea is to get out for Oulton Park” Hollamby said to The Checkered Flag. “We’ll have to wait and see how it works out. He’s aiming for that and that’s what we’re aiming for.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to get the car ready; the shell has had a bit of damage as well, but it’s all doable. The worst place to be is at a race circuit when you aren’t actually racing!”
The AmD Tuning boss admitted that the damage to the Focus was worse than it initially looked, but concluded: “It could be worse. It’s a shame because on the pace we had, we should have been able to qualify in the top 10 or 12, then shown good pace in the race as well.
“We spent a lot of time before Donington and we felt we made a lot of progress. We’ve definitely made the car quicker with work on the engineering side.”
Dismissing the possibility of a replacement driver for any meetings Bushell would be unavailable to attend during his recovery, Hollamby stated: “That’s not in my thoughts at the moment. My thoughts are with Mike getting better and back in the car.
“He’s got a lot of potential and we just want to get him back out there. It’s like riding a horse – if you fall off it, you’ve got to get back onto it as quickly as possible.”