SHOCKS AND AWE AS ANT SECURES TITLE
Double DNF for unfortunate Bushell after safety car error
When Mike Bushell and Ant Whorton-eales qualified on the front row of the grid, fireworks were expected. But no-one could predict the sequence of results that left Whorton-eales as champion and Bushell registering a double DNF.
Things didn’t get off to a good start for poleman Bushell. He made a terrible getaway and dropped to fifth as his title rival shot into the lead. The Pyro man had the chance to try again, however, when the race was redflagged after contact from Senna Proctor pitched Charlie Ladell into the barriers and he then careered into the path of Ollie Pidgley and debutant James Grint.
Things weren’t much better second time around as Bushell again made a poor getaway but this time Paul Rivett made a brilliant start and grabbed the lead at Druids. It got worse for Bushell soon after as a lurid sideways moment at Clark Curve dropped him behind team-mate Josh Price.
But the killer blow came in the most bizarre fashion. A safety car was deployed with Paul Streather off but Bushell started weaving too much and spun off into the gravel.
That handed Whorton-eales the advantage and he set about trying to pass Rivett. A bold move around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend didn’t work and instead he dropped to fourth behind new leader Price, Rivett and Lee Pattison. That was where he finished but there was more drama to come as Price made a slight error at Westfield on the final tour with Rivett pouncing to win.
All of that meant Whorton-eales simply had to beat Bushell in the finale to be sure of the crown. But that was far from straightforward. Bushell again lost out at the start but had a chance to make amends with an early safety car caused by George Jackson. On the restart Rivett went round the outside of Bushell at Druids and then made a desperate lunge at Whorton-eales at the next corner. This speared the points leader off and he rejoined the track into the path of who else but Bushell. That sent the 2014 champion into the barriers and with Whorton-eales limping home to seventh the title was his.
“The Rivett torpedo nearly pulled it in my favour!” said Bushell.
Back at the front it was Price who again profited to take his maiden win after missing out a day earlier, leading home Max Coates and Ladell.
“I lost it in the last two corners earlier so I was confident I wasn’t going to let that happen again,” he enthused.
Typically, after an action-packed season, the final race ended in dramatic style as Luke Kidsley rolled his car at Sheane but escaped injury.