ANT MAKES CLIO LARGE TO WIN

Top de­fend­ing from Whor­ton-eales keeps Bushell at bay

Motor Sport News - - Btcc Report: Silverstone - Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

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

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