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Mixed Fortunes For Clio Cup Trio
There were all smiles at the beginning of the weekend for the Renault UK Clio Cup Trio at Rockingham with Mike Bushell qualifying on pole position, with Josh and Senna 3rd and 4th for both races.
 
However the smiles didn't last too long as Senna had contact on the opening lap of race 1 with David Dickenson, that was the result of the pack being so close together which forced him to retire as quickly as the race had started. Added to the fact that there were near monsoon conditions across the Northamptonshire circuit both Mike and Josh also struggled allowing Ant Whorton-Eales into the lead and taking the win as the flag fell. It wasn't all disappointment as Mike ended the race in 3rd and picked up the first piece of Silverware of the weekend. Josh also dropped down the order to finish in 7th place.
 
As the lights went out at the start of race 2 on Sunday. Mike's mind was set on just one thing. Taking the win, and that's exactly what he did with a lights to flag victory only this time in glorious sunshine. Once again it was Whorton-Eales who made the great getaway slipping between Josh and Senna losing them both a place by the time the pack arrived at the infamous turn one. There was further drama on the opening lap as George Jackson ended up on his roof causing a brief safety car period. Racing resumed on lap 4 with Mike instantly making the break, and from there on in he didn't look back after crossing the finish line in the lead at the end of the 16 lap encounter. During the final three laps of the race there was a huge battle for 3rd headed by Max Coates, with Whorton-Eales, Josh and Senna all literally separated by just inches, and as the flag fell the final spot on the podium went to Cotes with Josh and Senna in 5th and 6th. Old stager Rivett also stood on the podium by crossing the line in 2nd as Mike took extra points for setting the fastest lap of the race.
 
Speaking of his weekend Mike commented: "It's great to have another race weekend and gain the most points over my rivals. The championship is highly competitive this year and it has been tough returning from a year in the BTCC. To be leading on total points at this stage and tied on drop scores with Ant Whorton-Eales is great as I am further ahead than I was at this stage in 2014, and I went on to win the title.
Further more this weekend has been great to finally put together a new deal with VitalSoftware. Coupled with my support from Team BMR, my confidence is high for the rest of the season and I'm already looking forward to seeing where next year may take me. 9 poles from the last 10 races certainly helps with that confidence and all of my focus is now on making sure I am in the lead at the end of lap 1 in all of the last 4 races."
 
Mike remains at the top of the championship standings 22 points ahead of nearest rival Whorton-Eales. Josh sits 7th with Senna 9th.
 
Speaking of what his hopes are for the remainder of the season Mike added: "There has only been one double champion in the past and that is the Clio Cup stalwart Paul Rivett. I'm putting all my effort into extending that list. "
 
Racing resumes at Silverstone the home of British Motorsport on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of September.

Written by Chris Chatters

Photos by Phil Laughton Photography