Age: 20 2016: Second in BRDC British F3 with Carlin (5 wins) Warwick says: “Ricky graduated from the MSA Formula [now British F4] to the newly uprated BRDC F3 championship this season and increased his level of performance at the same time. He took five wins and was perhaps a little unfortunate to miss out on a title for the second year in a row. But Ricky was still the top Brit in the standings and it will be interesting to see how the extra year of experience helps him.”
The Renault UK Clio Cup has a reputation for delivering action-packed races. And it certainly lived up to those expectations at Brands Hatch last weekend. With the series’ two-dropped-scores rule, many of the different permutations were worked out. But what no-one factored in was Mike Bushell spinning off behind the safety car.
Of all the ways to lose a title (yes, he didn’t lose it after the opener, but it didn’t do his chances any good) it has to be one of the most bizarre.
Then race two was even more incredible with Paul Rivett firing Ant Whorton-eales off who then rejoined into the path of Bushell. To quote AW-E, it was “unbelievable”.
To Bushell’s credit he took the massive disappointment very well. He was quick to congratulate Whorton-eales in parc ferme at the end of the race and you could tell how much the pair relished fighting against each other for the title.
Whorton-eales was genuinely disappointed that there wasn’t an on-track battle with Bushell in the finale, even if he did add the “not that I’m complaining” caveat. The big question now is can he secure a seat on the British Touring Car Championship grid, as his talent clearly deserves.
For two years in succession the Clio title battle has had the TOCA paddock and fans spellbound, but now we must look to the future.
Race two at Brands provided a tantalising glimpse towards what we might have in store. With the main contenders all well out of the picture, it was a chance for others to shine.
Josh Price was terrific all weekend and so nearly claimed a double win – and you’ve got to remember he’s only 17. Then there was Max Coates who finished second and has been a revelation this season, securing third in the points. If he doesn’t move up to the BTCC, then he could be a real title contender next year. And rounding out the podium was Charlie Ladell who bounced back from a nasty crash that redflagged the opener to take a podium. A possible sign of what’s to come. ● It wasn’t just the Clios that provided a thrilling title showdown. The final Ginetta GT4 Supercup race was a cracker and Will Burns should be very proud of the way he closed down the enormous points gap to early season dominator Tom Wrigley. It was a demonstration of how you should never stop chasing, no matter how impossible the target seems. And as for Sennan Fielding, his drive in British F4 was impressive until he came up behind the terrific Ayrton Simmons. In the end it wasn’t quite enough to stop Max Fewtrell whose consistent podium finishes this year make him a worthy winner.