AmD Tuning’s Mike Bushell was upbeat about his chances ahead of the British Touring Car Championship’s visit to Thruxton, as he looks to get his campaign back on track after a torrid second round of the season at Donington Park.
Bushell had shown promising speed last time out as he qualified 14th at the Leicestershire circuit, but two driveline issues and a late race-three exit after a clash with Power Maxed Racing’s Dave Newhsam dropped him to fifth in the Jack Sears Trophy standings for rookies, with just one points finish to his name so far this season heading to Thruxton.
The 25 year-old’s weekend will also be compromised with a five-place grid penalty, which has been carried over from Donington following his clash with Newsham.
But citing the example of fellow rookie Josh Cook – who came close to a podium at Donington – Bushell insisted he had every reason to aim for the front at the Hampshire venue.
“We showed improved pace at Donington Park last time out, although obviously we didn’t get the results to match it on race day,” he said. “Clearly, I’m hoping we can enjoy a bit more luck at Thruxton, and the team has been working hard to make more improvements to the car ahead of the weekend.
“Thruxton is a circuit I enjoy, and it’s the place where I took the first win of my title winning Clio campaign last season. It’s not ideal that we are taking a grid penalty into the weekend with us, but we just have to focus on qualifying as well as we can and then make sure we push hard in the races.
“After Donington Park, the first aim has to be to score three finishes, and I want to be back in the points scoring positions again. Having seen my Clio rival Josh Cook fighting for a podium last time out in the reverse grid race, there is no reason why we couldn’t do similar if we can get in the right position, and I’m keen to get my season back on track this weekend.”
Bushell’s optimism was shared by his Team Principal Shaun Hollamby, who was hoping for a more normal weekend after the disappointment of the Donington visit.
“Donington was a very frustrating weekend for the whole team as it was clear to see that we had a strong car, but a few small issues ultimately cost us a lot,” he said. “The obvious positive was the pace Mike showed in race three, and while we couldn’t take advantage of it last time out, hopefully we can this time around.
“Thruxton is a very unique circuit and one where you need to have a strong car to get the results. The Focus went well there last year and it’s also a track where Mike has won in the past, so there is no reason why we can’t have a good weekend on track and pick up three strong finishes.”