Bushell Crowns Champion Year With Double Brands Victory


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Mike Bushell added the icing to the championship cake at Brands Hatch as he capped off his title-winning season in the Renault UK Clio Cup with a finale weekend double victory.

Whilst Bushell led the way at the front, Paul Rivett secured the overall vice-champion honours, while Nathan Harrison emerged from a three-way scrap as the Graduates Cup winner.

Round Seventeen:

The race meeting began with the closest ever pole margin in Clio Cup qualifying history, with Bushell edging out his Pyro team-mate Bradley Burns by just two thousandths of a second for a double pole.

The race would begin in nightmare fashion for Burns however as he stalled on the front row and was collected by the unsighted Jade Edwards and Sam Osborne, with Shawn Taylor caught up too.

Bushell launched away from pole at the restart and benefitted from battling behind between Dan Zelos and Daniel Rowbottom to edge away into a healthy lead.

Zelos snuck into second at Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, and whilst Rowbottom got the spot back at the same corner soon after, he would then be hit with a five second track limit penalty.

Therefore whilst Bushell took a two second win from Rowbottom on the road, the latter was demoted to seventh, meaning Zelos’ a long-awaited maiden podium finish came in second place.

While James Colburn was promoted to a second top three result of the campaign, Max Coates was another to receive a track limits time penalty to drop him from fifth on the road.

Therefore the final classification saw James Dorlin in fourth ahead of Jack McCarthy, Rowbottom, Lucas Orrock and Coates, with Brett Lidsey an impressive ninth.

Harrison completed the top ten, whilst vice-champion contenders Lee Pattison and Rivett were twelfth and sixteenth respectively, the latter having pitted twice following an early off.

Round Eighteen:

With Burns and Edwards left sitting out of the race due to the damage sustained in the opening race incident, poleman Bushell would line up alone on the front row for the final race of the season.

In front of the live ITV4 television cameras, it was a case of deja-vu as Bushell led the field through Paddock Hill for the first time and Zelos quickly moved into second place.

Orrock and Dorlin disputed third initially, however a bold move by McCarthy at Graham Hill Bend saw him pass both and then pull away with the top two.

Despite running in close proximity throughout, there would be no change of position at the front as Bushell completed his double win ahead of Zelos and McCarthy.

Bushell said: “I’ve never won on the Brands Hatch GP circuit before this weekend and then suddenly two come along at once. It’s the perfect way to round out the season.”

Orrock would run in a lonely fourth position to make it three Pyro cars in the top four at the end, whilst behind there was a massive six car battle over fifth place.

Coates emerged ahead on the road, however he would be penalised for an incident during the race and a two second penalty dropped him to ninth in the final result.

Colburn therefore came away fifth ahead of WDE Motorsport pair Pattison and Rivett, while Zak Fulk posted the fastest lap of the race on his way to tenth overall.

A mid-race tangle for Dorlin meant he finished at the back following a pitstop, which meant eleventh was enough for Harrison to secure him the Graduates Cup title.

Ben Palmer completed a pair of thirteenth place finishes meanwhile on his return to the grid for the first time in two years, which came as a prize for being the Michelin Clio Cup Series points leader.

Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173903cli.pdf

The final championship standings are here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173903ptscli.pdf