Mike Bushell believes he is starting to really hit form in the Renault UK Clio Cup after the 2014 champion took a win and a second place at Oulton Park last weekend.
The meeting was Bushell’s strongest since his return to the championship at the start of the season, and meant the Team Pyro ace left Cheshire in the championship lead.
Bushell stamped his authority on the meeting with a pair of pole positions in qualifying, making it four in a row following his domination of the Thruxton session last month.
The races weren’t similarly plain-sailing for the ex-BTCC racer though, with his victory in the opener coming following a hard-fought duel with Ant Whorton-Eales.
After Whorton-Eales seized the advantage on the opening lap, the duo swapped the lead on three more occasions, with Bushell’s decisive move coming into the Island hairpin on lap five.
The same two drivers contested the race win in the second encounter too, though this time it was Whorton-Eales’ turn to stand on the top step of the podium after a mistake from Bushell into Old Hall gave him the lead.
“It’s great to return to form. I’ve been slowly getting quicker and quicker since the start of the year and four pole positions on the trot is no mean feat,” said Bushell.
“I’m a little annoyed with myself with the small error in race two that cost me a double win, but we learn from our mistakes.
“I’ve still gained more points than anyone else over the weekend with the fastest lap in race one to go with the win and second place.”
Bushell’s five podium finishes in the opening four meetings of the season means he already holds 27 more points than he did after eight races of his title-winning campaign in 2014, a feat that fills him with confidence for the remainder of the campaign.
“In 2014 I didn’t lead the championship until after the penultimate round at Rockingham, so to be in the lead and have more points at this stage than I did two years ago gives me confidence that I’m getting stronger every time I’m in the car,” he added.
“I’ve been driving with a more sensible approach so far this year and consistency has been key. Now the speed is returning, I just need to keep the momentum going and pick up some more trophies.”