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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.

Bushell (r) con­grat­u­lates Whor­ton-eales on ti­tle

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