Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell dominated the UK Clio Cup qualifying session at Oulton Park, leading the Pyro one-two after teammate Senna Proctor finished session. The drivers had locked out the front row of both the race one and two grid by setting some really fast lap times.

The session saw Bushell and Proctor rising to the top of the timing screens as they lapped the Cheshire circuit in unison to help each other set quicker lap times using the towing format. The qualifying session was interrupted after fellow Pyro driver Josh Price had stopped on track in the second sector for an unknown reason, he stopped just after setting his personal best lap time to jump into the top three on the screens. Due to him stopping it brought out the red flags to recover him if necessary.

When the session was restarted there were just twelve minutes remaining, the times drivers were setting did not improve during the last ten minutes of the session. This meant it was Bushell on top, making it four pole positions in a row. Proctor took second place for the two races, this being his best qualifying session of the championship so far this year.

When all the drivers had taken the flag and the grids had been set for the two races, it was the top five who would stay the same for both of the races. The grids were set by the fastest and second fastest lap times of the session. WDE’s Paul Rivett scored both thirds, JamSport’s Ant Whorton Eales taking both fourths and Ciceley Racing’s Max Coates taking both fifth place starts.

Due to the lap times not improving late in the session, Price’s last effort to put in quick lap times kept him in sixth for the opening race but he would have to start race two from down in eleventh due to not having a quick enough time to secure any other position.

The session was very close, there was only six tenths of a second which split the top eight drivers. Daniel Rowbottom finished the session in seventh aboard his Team Ecomotive with Finesse car with WDE’s Rory Green in eighth ahead of his teammate Charlie Ladell who finished ninth.

Most people were expecting Cooksport’s Lee Pattison to be on top of the times around the Cheshire circuit but the championship contender only managed to secure a tenth place start for race one and eighth for race two.

JamSport driver Luke Kidsley finished the qualifying session in eleventh with Team Pyro’s David Dickenson behind in twelfth. Thirteenth on the timing screens was Cooksport’s George Jackson.

Fourteenth on the timing screens went to Finesse Motorsport’s Jake Giddings with teammate Paul Streather, who had won at Brands Hatch during the opening rounds of the season, finished the session in fifteenth place. He could only manage a best position of fourteenth, which would be for race two.

Sixteenth went to Anton Spires aboard his Paint Perfect Motorsport run car. Closely behind him was Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne in seventeenth with eighteenth going to Ciceley Racing’s Dan Zelos, who had had no luck whatsoever during the opening nine races of the year.

Next on the timing screens was Oliver Pidgley in his Ciceley Racing run car in nineteenth. Twentieth went to 20Ten Racing’s Sam Watkins and finally in twenty-first was Graham Field in the JamSport Racing run car.


©Fay Tilley 5th June 2016.