Tag: amdtuning.com

BTCC: Clio champ looking forward to BTCC graduation

Mike Bushell will follow a long line of Clio Cup graduates when he takes on BTCC in 2015 and the Kent racer is looking forward to every second of it.

Despite many team/driver announcements still to be made ahead of the new season there’s every chance that the number of former Clio Cup drivers on the grid will reach double figures.

Former BTCC champion Andrew Jordan is arguably the standout name but Sam Tordoff, Aron Smith, Dave Newsham and of course Mat Jackson have all gone on to win multiple races in Britain’s premier series having previously cut their teeth in the popular feeder series.

The most recent Clio Cup champion to have made a successful graduation to the BTCC is Jack Goff, who followed up his title-winning season with a podium grabbing campaign in the BTCC.

“Many drivers have come from Clios into the BTCC so it seems to be a very good route,” said Bushell. “It hasn’t actually sunk in yet if I’m honest and I think I’m quite modest about it all. It’s great to have won the championship but moving up to touring cars now – well I didn’t quite expect to be here. I’ve just sort of followed a path and it has taken me to some great places.

“Going into the BTCC as a Clio champion maybe shows that I’ve earned a place on the grid – it’s much better to have done it that way and to feel like a proven driver as such.”

Bushell has already contested a one-off weekend in the BTCC, driving the newly built Team Club 44 Chevrolet Cruze at Knockhill back in 2013. The young talent performed well, despite admitting he wasn’t entirely ready for the step-up, as he qualified the car in 17th before narrowly missing out on the points in the opening two races. He also had a run in a Motorbase Ford Focus back in October as part of his prize for winning the Clio Cup.

“When I did the BTCC event previously I think I was still a little naïve but I feel much better prepared this time around,” claims Bushell. “I like to be calm and follow a specific routine and thought process, which has stood me in good stead so far in my career. It helps having had a taste of the BTCC and if I can approach it in the same way as I have done with Clios then I should be okay. Touch wood I can have a good year.”

His rookie season will take place under the stewardship of AmDTuning boss Shaun Hollamby, whose invaluable experience both behind the wheel and on the pitwall is likely to be vital. The Essex-based team developed its Ford Focus throughout 2014 with Dave Newsham’s Knockhill podium being the highlight of the season.

25-year-old Bushell admits rostrums are a long way from his mind at this moment in time, with his main focus being to get some test mileage under his belt.

“It’s nice to see the car finished and it looks great,” he concluded. “I haven’t driven it yet but I’m looking forward to getting some testing done. Once I get the first run completed then I can progress. I haven’t set any targets and if I’m honest I have no idea how I’m going to do.

“I’m hoping to do three or four test days, including the BTCC Media Day, but it all depends on budget. I’m really looking forward to the year.”

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC: Clio Cup Champion Mike Bushell Joins AMDtuning.com

AmDTuning.com can today confirm that it has agreed terms with newly-crowned Renault Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell to spearhead its challenge on the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The 25-year-old from Tunbridge Wells joins the team on the back of an impressive 2014 season, where he secured four wins and four further podiums en-route to the Clio Cup crown.

Having made clear his intentions to move into the BTCC as soon as the title was secured, AmDTuning.com moved quickly to agree a deal with Mike, who will be at the wheel of the team’s Ford Focus for his first full season in the series.

Although classed as a rookie, Mike has one previous outing in the BTCC to his name at Knockhill in 2013 where, in a one-off outing in a Chevrolet Cruze, he qualified within eight-tenths of a second of pole and only missed out on scoring debut points when he was taken out of race three.

He also recently tested with the Motorbase Performance team in its Ford Focus as part of his prize for winning the Clio Cup.

Mike’s debut for AmDTuning.com will come at Brands Hatch in early April 2015, with the team keen to try and put a full testing programme in place for the off-season.

“Winning the Clio Cup this year was a massive achievement for me, and I can’t believe that I’m now sat here knowing that I’ll be in the BTCC next season,” he said. “I’ve been speaking to Shaun for a while and it’s fantastic to have agreed a deal so early in the off-season.

“I actually feel quite humbled to be joining the BTCC as there is no other championship like it out there. You only have to look at the grid this year to see it is full of drivers who have won championships, and I’m under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead.

“Early on, my focus will simply be on finishing races and building on the experience I gained when I did my one event in 2013, but I’m confident of quickly getting up to speed. The Ford is a proven package and it felt quite suited to my driving style when I sampled the Motorbase car. The team has a skilled group of people working on it, so there is no reason why I can’t be competitive and push for some strong results as the season goes on.

“I’m hoping that Vital Software and TheVinylGuys.co.uk, who were two of my main backers in Clios, will be involved again next year and I just want to thank Shaun and AmDTuning.com for giving me this chance.

“I’m very excited and can’t wait to get started!”

Team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was delighted to welcome Mike into the team having been impressed with his performances in one of the BTCC’s most competitive support series in recent seasons.

“We’re delighted to be able to agree a deal with Mike for 2015, and it is ideal for both parties to have an agreement in place so soon,” he said. “It’s given us time to work on finalising our sponsorship plans for next year, and we are keen to speak to people who want to support a young British driver who we believe can do big things in the BTCC next year.

Read more on BTCC.net