ANT MAKES CLIO LARGE TO WIN
Top defending from Whorton-eales keeps Bushell at bay
Ant Whorton-eales certainly knows how to defend a lead around the Silverstone National Circuit.
Mike Bushell tried everything to get ahead of his title rival in the two races in Northamptonshire but to no avail. Even when he did briefly get ahead at the end of the opener, he was given a penalty for being too robust in his efforts to claim the place.
Points leader Bushell initially led a thrilling race one but fast-starting Whorton-eales didn’t stay behind him for long. The pair ran side-by-side through Brooklands before Whorton-Eales made the move stick at Luffield.
Then he had to defend – and not just from Bushell. He had to fend off Max Coates, Josh Price, James Colburn, Paul Rivett, David Dickenson, Charles Ladell and Paul Streather as the top 10 ran line astern for much of the race.
As those behind jostled for third, Bushell finally made his attempt on the lead on the penultimate tour at Luffield. He won the battle, but Whorton-eales won the war as the Pyro driver was later demoted to second.
“It was a hard race and I was biding my time,” said Bushell. “I knew I had to do something and I went for something…”
The frenetic battle for third eventually went to Price, but Rivett, Coates and series returnee Colburn were all within a second of the victor.
Race two was relatively tame in comparison. Fireworks were expected with Bushell and Whorton-eales starting on the front row together, but Whorton-eales made such a good start there was no chance for a tussle in the opening laps.
It wasn’t long until the Jamsport driver was under pressure from Bushell again, but this time the 2014 champion didn’t launch a serious attack – mindful of his earlier penalty.
This allowed Whorton-eales to seal the double and close Bushell’s points advantage. With two races remaining, Bushell’s advantage is 14 points, but once the championship’s two-dropped-scores rule is applied it’s Whorton-eales who has the lead by just eight.
A delighted Whorton-eales said: “This track is basically three or four corners and if you put the car in the right place it’s very hard to pass. If Mike had beaten me into the first corner it would’ve been the same.”
Bushell added: “I got taught my lesson and had to be on my best behaviour! The race was decided in the first two seconds.”
This time the fight for third wasn’t as close behind the title protagonists. Price was denied another podium after being given a drivethrough penalty for a jump start, which allowed Coates to beat Rivett and Senna Proctor.
Whorton-eales held off a swarm of Clios Bushell forces his way ahead