After being denied victory in controversial fashion at Thruxton last year, Mike Bushell was able to lay those demons to rest with a commanding win in the opening Renault UK Clio Cup race of the day.
Bushell would lead from lights-to-flag in his Team Pyro Clio, but it certainly wasn’t a clear ride to victory as he had to deal with a spell of pressure from a charging James Colburn.
A stunning start saw Colburn rise from eighth on the grid to third by the time the pack fed their way through the Complex for the first time, slotting in behind team-mate James Dorlin.
Dorlin had climbed into second off the start as front-row starter Dan Zelos bogged down off the line, but that only last until lap three as Colburn stormed around the outside through the Complex.
Colburn closed onto the tail of Bushell over the next few laps, but every time he got within touching distance of the leader, Bushell responded and maintained a comfortable gap.
There would be no further changes of position in the top two, with Bushell picking up his second win of the campaign ahead of Colburn and maiden podium finisher Dorlin.
A fierce battle for fourth was only decided on the final tour, with a last gasp move from Daniel Rowbottom taking the spot and edging out Lee Pattison on a drag race to the line.
Pattison had earlier picked up fourth with a move around the outside of Jack McCarthy at the Complex, before battling for the position with Paul Rivett and Nathan Harrison.
As Rivett and Harrison completed the top seven at the finish, Max Coates was eighth ahead of McCarthy and Zelos, the latter having to recover from his slow start and an early slide at the Complex.
Brett Lidsey took an impressive eleventh place finish on his championship debut ahead of Ollie Pidgley, while Ash Hand slipped to thirteenth after battling for the top six early on.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/event/171803/session/rc1cli