2nd January 2017

It's a tie! Bushell win means he and Pattison share championship lead leaving Brands Hatch opener

Mike Bushell has won the Renault UK Clio Cup’s second round of 2017 at Brands Hatch – a result which means he and Lee Pattison leave the Kent circuit tying for the championship lead.

Team Pyro’s Bushell had finished second to WDE Motorsport’s Pattison in Saturday’s opening round. But today, again starting from pole position, he was able to lead from ‘lights out’ all the way to the finish for his first ever win at his home circuit.

Pattison finished in second but only after a late move past Bushell’s 16-year-old ‘rookie’ team-mate Jack McCarthy who confidently held the position for much of the race.

Indeed it was a move on Bushell for the lead that was to prove McCarthy’s undoing – as Bushell defended, he lost momentum and was passed by both Pattison and another of the WDE drivers, Paul Rivett.

McCarthy still came home in a fine fourth position – the highest placed finisher in the Graduates Cup for young, first-year drivers. He leaves Brands Hatch leading the class…

However at the top of the UK Clio Cup's outright standings Bushell and Pattison are the joint leaders with Rivett in third heading to the next two rounds at Leicestershire's Donington Park circuit in two weeks (Sat 15/Sun 16 April).

CLICK HERE for the race result.

CLICK HERE for the latest championship points.

Bushell commented: “Jack really put the pressure on but when he lost out later on it gave me the opportunity to pull out a small gap. I’ve had a great start to my championship and I’m delighted to have finally got that first win at Brands.”

Pattison said: “I had a bit of a hairy moment on the first lap when I went off the track and dropped to fourth so to still take second and come away leading it equal with Mike on points is a relief. Hopefully we can keep up this good form – I left Brands leading last year but it then all went downhill from there!”

And added Rivett: “There was a small chance for me to pass Lee when he went off but if I had it’d have hung him out to dry and he’d have lost more places – we’re in this together and the results we’ve got means we both leave with big points and WDE is leading the teams’ championship. It’s a great start.”

McCarthy enthused: “I was going for the win but it didn’t work out and Pattison and Rivett were immediately alongside me and through. It won’t make the same mistake again but fifth yesterday; fourth today. I’ve had a great weekend on my car racing debut.”

Fifth was PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn. He spent much of the race fending off Max Coates who took a frustrated sixth having lost positions when lying third with a moment in his Ciceley Motorsport car at the Clearways corner.

Pyro’s Ollie Pidgely and WDE’s Dan Zelos were next up in seventh and eighth as Shayne Deegan and Daniel Rowbottom – each driving for single-car entries SDR Motorsport and DRM respectively – completed the top ten.

Deegan had run as high as sixth early on but dropped places when he suffered a half spin entering Clearways. However his recovery drive would later earn him two bonus points as he set a new UK Clio Cup lap record for the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

After all sorts of problems earlier in the weekend, JamSport’s Lucas Orrock took a relieved 11th ahead of Ciceley’s Sam Osborne in 12th. Pyro’s Ash Hand was 13th but he was another to lose places with a moment at Clearways, having been up to eighth early on…

JamSport’s Aaron Thompson was 14th while Jade Edwards, with one of the stand-out drives of the race, took 15th after starting 22nd. In the closing stages she had to work extra hard to withstand pressure from Westbourne’s James Dorlin and Myles Collins, JamSport’s Nathan Harrison and Ciceley’s Luke Reade – these five providing a highly entertaining battle for the bumper Brands Hatch crowd and those watching the action live on ITV4.

Meanwhile Ambrogio Perfetti got the measure of Westbourne team-mate Oscar Rovelli as they came home in 20th and 21st positions. The only non-finisher was Pyro’s Kyle Hornby who span off the track at Paddock Hill Bend early on.

Tagged by

UK Clio Cup

Written by

Carl McKellar

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