Mike Bushell topped the timesheets during official Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup pre-event testing at Snetterton today (1st August), the Team Pyro ace lapping 0.4 seconds faster than his closest rival.
Returning to action after the five-week summer break, fourteen Clio Cup cars took to the track for two forty-five minute sessions, with Thruxton race-winner Bushell heading the pack with a tremendous time of 2m 07.759s in the opening session.
While he was one of only four drivers not able to improve their times in the second session, no-one else was able to get close to his benchmark, giving him the bragging rights heading into tomorrow’s qualifying session.
“Everything feels good, the first session was obviously fantastic and in the second session we didn’t run any new tyres. Conditions were the same in both sessions, it was a good, consistent day and the track was pretty much identical throughout,” said Bushell.
“We just need to keep in check with the front guys in the championship and gain a bit of ground if we can this weekend. It’d be nice to do this again tomorrow and fight for the win, but if I can finish third and be ahead of [James] Colburn and [Josh] Cook that will suit me and I’ll be happy.”
Championship leader Josh Cook and his SV Racing with KX team-mate Ant Whorton-Eales were the closest drivers to Bushell, but despite both improving their times in the second session, they were left to round out the top three, Whorton-Eales pipping his team-mate by 0.005 seconds.
Croft star Jordan Stilp continued his good form to post the fourth fastest time, just 0.059s slower than Cook. Ash Hand’s best time from the opening session put him fifth ahead of SV team-mate Alex Morgan, with James Colburn, Paul Rivett and Lee Pattison next up – second to ninth places being separated by little more than 0.3 seconds.
Championship newcomer Paul Knapp enjoyed a solid first day meanwhile, finishing up fourteenth overall, just 0.055 seconds shy of series regular Craig Milner.
Full testing results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/143141cli.pdf