Championship leader Mike Bushell left it until the last lap of the qualifying session to claim pole position for the two Renault UK Clio Cup races at Oulton Park.
The Team Pyro driver was pushing for pole position in the closing stages of the session when he had a slight head-on into a barrier at Lodge Corner. Remarkably he recovered to keep going and claim double pole. On the very last lap of the session he put in a stunning 1:42.247 to deny teammate Nathan Harrison from taking his maiden pole position in the series by just thirty-four-thousands of a second.
Their fellow teammate Jack McCarthy improved his times late in the session to take third place – securing a Pyro 1-2-3. On their second best lap times for setting race two’s grid it is the same order – Bushell on pole with Harrison alongside and McCarthy behind.
WDE Motorsport’ Paul Rivett and Lee Pattison – who happen to be the two drivers closest to Bushell in the championship standings finished the session down the order; Rivett in twelfth and tenth with Pattison in sixteenth and thirteenth.
McCarthy also had an off at Lodge Corner but was not quite as fortunate as Bushell. The youngster’s car nosed into the back of Max Coates’ car. Both cars finished the session requiring repairs ahead of the opening race of the weekend.
JamSport’s Aaron Thompson shocked many people when he jumped to the top of the timesheets before being shuffled to a qualifying best of fourth for race one. PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn finished the qualifying session in fifth ahead of DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom in sixth for race one. Colburn will start race two from fourth ahead of fellow Westbourne racer James Dorlin. Dan Rowbottom starts the second encounter in sixth.
Some of the strong performances being shown during the challenging conditions were from Ciceley’s Luke Reade and Jade Edwards – starting in seventh and tenth for race one. This is their best qualifying results so far this season.
After suffering an off during the early stage of the session SDR’s Shayne Deegan is forced to start both races from the back of the grid. Nicolas Hamilton’s returned to the championship with a seventeenth and fifteenth for the two races aboard his WDE run entry.