SHOCKS AND AWE AS ANT SE­CURES TI­TLE

Dou­ble DNF for un­for­tu­nate Bushell af­ter safety car er­ror

Motor Sport News - - Btcc Report: Brands Hatch -

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.

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