BTCC Crazy

Mike Bushell focused on BTCC graduation

Mike Bushell’s desire to race in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2015 have been heightened after testing with Motorbase Performance at Snetterton.

Piloting the NGTC Ford Focus as reward for clinching the 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup Championship, Bushell competed a number of installation laps as well as race runs around the Norfolk circuit.

With assistance provided by Mat Jackson, Bushell experienced the Dunlop soft tyre for the first time as he reacquainted himself with NGTC machinery after debuting in the series at Knockhill last year behind the wheel of Andy Neate’s Chevrolet Cruze.

Now with an even greater determination to graduate to the BTCC, the Tunbridge Wells racer was left beaming from ear to ear.

Recapping the test, Bushell said: “The BTCC car is definitely a different beast to the Clio.It’s a lot heavier, there’s a lot more grip and obviously more power.

“I found the limit a few times, mowed the lawn, but it was an amazing experience – it’s been like Christmas come early.”

The 25-year-old added: “I was very surprised by the soft tyres and it was a good opportunity to test them. I was amazed at how quickly they drop off, when I felt the grip max-up I took a little bit too much out of them.

“I’ve got aspirations to be in the BTCC next year and this prize was almost like a first test for that. Big thanks to Dunlop, the guys at Airwaves and Renault UK for such an amazing opportunity.”

Commenting on the Clio Cup champions test, team manager Oly Collins said: “We did a couple of short runs, which were more familiarisation than anything, and then Mike had his race run on the soft tyre which was quite a challenging thing to do. After the warm-up procedure he then had to manage the tyre and did a good job.

“Running on softs was probably the most challenging thing Mike could have done really, he set a good time early on and had a very good approach with good feedback. Obviously, he is looking at progressing into touring cars sooner rather than later and so the experience was very valuable for him. Mike was good to work with and he did seem to enjoy himself!”

Jayde Kruger and Jack Mitchell have also tested around the 2.99 mile Norfolk layout with reaction from them both to follow.

Article originally written on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. Read more articles from the BTCC Crazy Archive.