“Perfect weekend” for Whorton-Eales at Thruxton

It was a double win for JamSport’s Ant Whorton-Eales at Thruxton after Mike Bushell was controversially penalised for exceeding the track limits in the second race.

Race One

Bushell started the first race from pole, with championship rival Whorton-Eales for behind him in fifth. The JamSport driver made the best start on the grid though, and was in the lead of the race by the end of the first lap.
Once ahead at the beginning of the race, Whorton-Eales had no problems and finished the race on top.

“That’s probably the best start I’ve made in a race and, even better, the others behind me kept fighting, which enabled me to make the break and break the tow to them. It worked perfectly for me.”

The race was paused briefly when the safety car came onto the track. Dan Zelos and Paul Plant came together at the start of the fifth lap, an exciting battle ending in a heavy crash.

Before the accident, Lee Pattison and Josh Price had been battling for second place, but the Team Pyro driver managed to take Pattison on the restart. Pattison lost another place to Price’s team mate Bushell entering Church Corner.

“I’m very happy with that result – I’ve felt it’s been coming for some time,” Price said. “It’s a shame we didn’t have a few more laps, though – I was catching Ant and Bushell was catching me. It could have been very interesting.”

Bushell was working his way back up from the seventh place a disasterous first lap had put him in. After starting on pole, third wasn’t where the championship contender wanted to be, but it was the best he could manage after the difficult start.

Paul Rivett finished fourth overall, which means he kept his lead at the top of the championship by 20 points to Pattison, who finished fifth.

Race Two

Bushell started the second race from pole again and, this time, he managed to keep the place on track. The Team Pyro driver shot off at the start of the race and had no problems from anybody on the track.

Three laps from the end of the race though, Bushell was handed a five second penalty for exceeding the track limits. Bushell later watched back the race and argued that he had done nothing wrong, but the damage was already done. The penalty wiped away his lead and he was demoted to second place.

“Of course I am disappointed to lose out this way, as I’d made the break and got everything under control – or so I thought,” said Bushell after the race. “But a third this morning and a second in this race are still good results and they’ve brought us right into play in the title race.”

Whorton-Eales finished second on track, taking the top spot of the podium.

“That’s a bit of a cruel way for Mike to lose the win as he’d really built up a lead over the rest of us, but I got a pit board signal a few laps from home telling me he’d got a penalty so I pushed as hard as I could and it worked out for me,” he explained. “A win this morning and another this afternoon on a circuit which hasn’t been the best for me in the past – it’s the perfect day.”

An eighth place finish for Rivett means the WDE driver kept his lead in a less than perfect weekend at Thruxton, but it’s now reduced to just six points from Bushell.

Results

Race One

1 – Ant Whorton-Eales – JamSport Racing
2 – Josh Price – Team Pyro
3 – Mike Bushell – Team Pyro
4 – Paul Rivett – WDE Motorsport
5 – Lee Pattison – Team Cooksport
6 – Anton Spires – PP Motorsport
7 – David Dickenson – Team Pyro
8 – Senna Proctor – Team BMR with Pyro
9 – Max Coates – Ciceley Motorsport
10 – George Jackson – Team Cooksport
11 – Jake Giddings – Finesse Motorsport
12 – Rory Collingbourne – Team Cooksport
13 – Daniel Rowbottom – Team Ecomotive
14 – Charles Ladell – WDE Motorsport
15 – Paul Streather – Finesse Motorsport
16 – Sam Watkins – 20Ten Racing
17 – Ollie Pidgley – Ciceley Motorsport
18 – Paul Plant – Vanquish Motorsport – DNF
19 – Luke Kidsley – JamSport Racing – DNF
20 – Dan Zelos – Ciceley Motorsport – DNF
21 – Graham Field – JamSport Racing – DNF

Race Two

1 – Ant Whorton-Eales – JamSport Racing
2 – Mike Bushell – Team Pyro
3 – Josh Price – Team Pyro
4 – Lee Pattison – Team Cooksport
5 – Anton Spires – PP Motorsport
6 – Paul Streather – Finesse Motorsport
7 – David Dickenson – Team Pyro
8 – Paul Rivett – WDE Motorsport
9 – Senna Proctor – Team BMR with Pyro
10– Max Coates – Ciceley Motorsport
11 – Charles Ladell – WDE Motorsport
12 – Ollie Pidgley – Ciceley Motorsport
13 – Jake Giddings – Finesse Motorsport
14 – Rory Collingbourne – Team Cooksport
15 – George Jackson – Team Cooksport
16 – Luke Kidsley – JamSport Racing
17 – Paul Plant – Vanquish Motorsport
18 – Graham Field – JamSport Racing
19 – Sam Watkins – 20Ten Racing
20 – Dan Zelos – Ciceley Motorsport
21 – Daniel Rowbottom – Team Ecomotive – DNF

Feature Image Credit: Renault UK Clio Cup Press Office

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