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Poles, Podiums and Penalties
The Renault UK Clio Cup headed to Silverstone last weekend for the penultimate round with all eyes on the Team BMR backed racer Mike Bushell who was leading the championship standings in the hope of extending the lead for when the championship concludes at Brands Hatch in just over a weeks’ time.
 
All three drivers including Josh Price and Senna Proctor qualified well and were set to line up 2nd, 3rd and 10th of the 21 runners. Rookie Max Coates took pole position for Saturday's race with Mike's nearest championship rival Ant Whorton-Eales in 4th.
 
As the lights went out for the opener Mike quickly moved up the order into 2nd place 
behind Whorton-Eales as the duo battled hard for the win. The battle between the pair kept everyone glued to their seats for the remainder of the race with Mike taking the lead on the final lap after a late lunge on Whorton-Eales. Josh completed the podium in 3rd and also took the Graduate Cup for the top rookie, giving the team their first three pieces of silverware for the weekend. Unfortunately Senna once again had his fair share of bad luck and tumbled down the order to finish 13th after contact during the early stages of the race. Graduate runner Ollie Pidgley set the fastest lap of the race and crossed the line in 16th place.
 
The celebrations were however short lived after Mike was demoted to second for after his pass was deemed unfair handing the win to Whorton-Eales allowing him to close on Mike in the championship standings.
 
Race two on Sunday would start as a much closer affair with the three Team BMR backed drivers all in the top 5 with Mike on pole, Josh in 4th and Senna 5th. Once again Whorton-Eales and Coates were right in the mix with the former lining up alongside Mike on the front row and the latter in 3rd completing the top 5 spots. It's always difficult from pole position at Silverstone as the pole sitter sits on the outside and it was Whorton-Eales who made the getaway with Mike slotting into 2nd with Josh also gaining the advantage moving up to 3rd behind his senior team mate as Senna held his 5th place starting position. Senna soon found himself under pressure from triple champion Paul Rivett who took the place on lap 3 placing Senna 6th by the end of the lap, as Mike closed the gap to Whorton-Eales who was still out in front. There was disaster for Josh at the start of lap 7 as the team were forced to call him in for a drive through penalty after it appeared he made a false start after the TV cameras showed he crept forward on the line. With Josh entering the pits at the start of lap 8, Coates moved up to 3rd with Rivett going through to 4th and Senna back in his 5th place starting position as once again Mike piled the pressure on Whorton-Eales for the remainder of the race but had to settle for 2nd as the checkered flag fell. Senna managed to fend off the advances Lee Pattison to finish 5th as Josh crossed the line 17th as Paul Streather set the fastest lap of the race in 9th place. Coates completed the podium and took the graduate win.
 
ike remains at the top of the championship standings with a margin of 14 points. However once drop scores come into play at the end of the season, he actually trails Whorton-Eales with an 8 point disadvantage so it's all to play for come finals day when Mike returns to his home circuit. For graduates Josh and Senna they are now placed 7th and 8th in the championship after the latter moved up the order following his brace of top 13 finishes.
 
The 2016 title now sees just Mike and Whorton-Eales in contention and all of us here at Team BMR would like to wish Mike all the luck in the world as we did to Ash Sutton who was in the same position with Ash Hand just 12 months ago. And we all know the outcome of that don't we?