After an sucessful test with the team at Snetterton on Tuesday, IP Tech Race Engineering have taken the decision to put Clio Cup racer Mike Bushell in the hot seat for this weekend’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill in Fife.
So impressive was Mike both in and out of the car at the Norfolk track earlier this week, that team owner Andy Neate has given the youngster from Kent a chance to prove himself in the championship that he has made no secret of aspiring to. Talking about the decision Andy said “competing in a touring car isn’t just about what you can do on the track, its how you also apply yourself off track to put yourself there in the first instance.Mike’s already proven he’s quick in the BTCC feeder Clio series and he impressed me during his time on track at Snetterton. Following his test and a number of conversations with him, I wanted to give him an opportunity at the right time in his career I would have cut my arm off for in years gone by. I saw Knockhill as that ideal opportunity as he's not in his usual Clio ride at the weekend.I’m confident he’ll be holding his own out there. But primarily its a priceless chance for him to experience the other side of the event which is important. Working with a bigger team than he’s been used to and taking on board all the feedback he’ll be getting, and also the technical aspect of touring cars which is a number of levels above what he's experienced to date. It’s going to test him but I’m sure he’ll step up to the plate”.Andy continues, "IP tech have spent a lot of time developing the Cruze off track and I believe the direction we are going with the chassis makes it a very competitive car indeed. However Mike will still be operating with base line boost due the regulations. My aim for him is to stay out of any trouble and continue the teams 100% finishing record and collect some valuable experience along the way."
Mike will appear in the IP Tech Race Engineering car he tested at Snetterton earlier in the week competing with the #45. Details of the weekend schedule can be found at BTCC.netoth the contest website, www.GRFContests.org. Fans will then vote for the winning helmet design from Sept. 9 through Sept. 16, with the design receiving the most votes being painted by Art Rotondo, who provides the artwork for all of Rahal's Bell helmets. Rahal will then wear the helmet during the IZOD IndyCar Series finale.
Following the race, the Graham Rahal Foundation will auction the helmet at http://Celebrity.eBay.com to raise money for both of its charities, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer and SeriousFun Children's Network.