Mike Bushell has increased his advantage at the top of the 2017 Renault UK Clio Cup championship standings after taking his third win of the season at Oulton Park, though saw his former team-mate James Colburn deny him a double victory on the weekend.
Bushell had taken the chequered flag as the on-the-road victor in both encounters, but as has become tradition in the Clio Cup this season, the result of race two changed in the post-race judiciaries as Colburn took his first win of the campaign.
Colburn’s victory ultimately came in a truly dramatic second race of the weekend, which would eventually only be contested over two racing laps, with an original effort red flagged after an incident, and then another huge accident stopping the second.
The original start was curtailed when contact between Nathan Harrison and James Dorlin whilst battling for third sent them heavily into the barriers at the exit of Old Hall, necessitating extensive repairs to the barriers to be made.
At the restart, Colburn got the jump on poleman Bushell to lead through the opening few corners, but a robust move from Bushell at the Island hairpin got him an advantage that he would go on to maintain until the red flags re-emerged soon after.
This came following a massive incident for Jack McCarthy, who was unsighted coming over Clay Hill and made contact with the slow Jade Edwards – who had previously received damage in a tangle with Shayne Deegan that led to the latter’s exclusion from the race
Pitched over, McCarthy’s car would slide along the circuit on its roof before rolling further, with the subsequent clean-up operation meaning no further time could be given in the timetable to race further, meaning the result was settled after two laps.
Daniel Rowbottom would be classed as the final podium finisher to complete a superb breakthrough top three double for the meeting, with Dan Zelos, Max Coates and Lee Pattison rounding out a top six. Ninth overall as he took maiden Graduates Cup win meanwhile was Kyle Hornby.
The opening race of the weekend was a much more subdued affair meanwhile, with Bushell setting the fastest lap of the race as he led from lights-to-flag – the Team Pyro ace having survived an off in qualifying to record his 17th and 18th pole positions from the last 22 on offer.
It had been a Pyro one-two-three in qualifying as Harrison and McCarthy followed their team-mate in wet conditions, with Harrison converting his front-row start into a second place finish ahead of Rowbottom, meaning there were two drivers earning their maiden rostrum finishes.
Rivett produced an impressive driver to rise from twelfth on the grid to finish fourth ahead of McCarthy, Coates and Colburn, the former triple champion adding a seventh place result in race two, while Hornby completed an impressive top ten double.
Aaron Thompson had qualified a career-best fourth for race one, but a heart-breaking spin on his formation lap led to broken steering and retirement, while Nicolas Hamilton secured a best finish of thirteenth on his return to the championship.
Full race results from the meeting and the current championship standings can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/event/172003