Bushell Takes Step Towards Title With Snetterton Double

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Mike Bushell could win the 2017 Renault UK Clio Cup title next time out at Rockingham after making it four victories in a row with a dominant double win at Snetterton this past weekend.

After setting a new qualifying lap record on his way to a ninth pole position of the season, Bushell would comfortably win race one before holding off Max Coates to take his second victory.

Those results, coupled with a pivotal retirement for erstwhile chief challenger Lee Pattison in race two, means the 2014 champion holds a 98 point lead at the top of the standings.


Round Eleven:

Bushell would start the live televised opening race on Sunday from pole position after topping qualifying, for the fifth time out of six this season, by two tenths of a second.

Pattison started alongside him on the front row and would make a challenge for the lead into Riches for the first time, however Bushell would fend him off through the Wilson hairpin.

That would turn out to be Bushell’s only defensive driving of the race, with Pattison slipping behind the fast-starting Daniel Rowbottom, who superbly rose from eighth on the grid to second.

As those two began to duel it out for second, Bushell stormed clear to take his sixth win of the season so far by over three seconds at the chequered flag.

WDE Motorsport’s Pattison would eventually get the upper hand on Rowbottom with a late lunge into Riches on lap three, before successfully defending that position to the finish.

Outside of the podium positions, Lucas Orrock emerged from a huge multi-car battle to take fourth place, his best finish in the Clios so far continuing an upturn in fortunes since joining Pyro.

Paul Rivett recovered from dropping to ninth on the opening lap to finish fifth at the finish, while Dan Zelos made it three WDE cars in the top six at his home circuit.

Coates was seventh ahead of Westbourne Motorsport trio James Dorlin, James Colburn and Sam Randon, with Luke Reade and Nathan Harrison just missing out on the top ten.


Round Twelve:

Dorlin had secured a maiden series pole position in qualifying for race two, however a first race incident with Jack McCarthy that led to the latter’s retirement resulted in a two place grid penalty.

That promoted Coates to pole ahead of Bushell, though crucially the points leader got ahead into Riches on lap one and built an early lead as Coates dropped into the pack behind.

Once clear in second though, the Ciceley Motorsport man superbly posted six fastest laps in a row as he hunted down a two second gap to Bushell, closing onto his tail heading onto the last lap.

Bushell used all his experience to take the win by just a quarter of a second though, making it seven for the campaign, while Coates took a fourth podium of the campaign.

Coates’ route to second had been helped by a cruel mechanical failure for Pattison, which also opened the door for his WDE team-mate Rivett to finish third after a bold move on Dorlin.

Rowbottom and Zelos eventually shuffled Dorlin back to sixth at the finish, with Randon and Colburn once again in the top ten ahead of Harrison and Aaron Thompson.

Local driver Shawn Taylor unfortunately retired from the race during his second outing of the season, while JamSport boss Jamie Going completed a sixteenth place double on his series debut.

Full race results from the weekend can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173003cli.pdf

The current championship standings head to Rockingham are here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173003ptscli.pdf