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Tunbridge Wells' Bushell ready to make BTCC debut at home track

Saturday, March 28 2015

Tunbridge Wells racer Mike Bushell makes his full-time Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut at Brands Hatch this Easter (4/5 April) with Thurrock's AmDtuning.com team.

Bushell is the reigning Renault UK Clio Cup champion and will be following in the footsteps of fellow series graduates Jack Goff, Andrew Jordan, Sam Tordoff and Aron Smith.

Brands Hatch will actually be the 25-year-old's second BTCC appearance, following a one-off race at Knockhill in 2013 with an Andy Neate-run Chevrolet Cruze. "It was a different car and a completely different weekend at Knockhill, it was so long ago," he said. "I've had an entire season in the Clio championship and won that. I'd say having won that is probably the biggest gain in terms of the right frame of mind for this.

"Both series are very competitive, you have to look at who has come on from the Clio Cup to Touring Cars as it's one of the feeder series, and I think I've learnt quite considerable craft there, hopefully I can bring that into this series."

With Wrotham's Motorbase skipping the opening rounds, there's a fair chance that Mike will be the leading local driver as well as the fastest Ford, but this is the last thing on his mind: "There's no pressure for me, it's just like starting again. I just have to drive the car, which is a very different beast to the Clio. I'm almost like the new kid on the block at school."

Mike's all too aware of his rookie status, even if he has the advantage of racing at home next weekend: "Everyone says to me that you're always quicker at your home circuit, but I've never won here. I know this circuit better than any other, but at the end of the day it doesn't count for much as I'm up against people who've raced here for 20 years opposed to me with four.

"It will be something special, I've got people coming along to support me and to finish the season here as well is even better, racing on the Grand Prix circuit at the end of the year will be something else."

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 4/5 April are available from £26 in advance, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.