Mike Bushell to make Oulton Park BTCC return with fan funding help

Mike Bushell says he would not have been able to return to the British Touring Car Championship grid without the financial support pledged by fans following his accident at Thruxton

Mike Bushell to make Oulton Park BTCC return with fan funding help

The championship rookie missed the three races in Hampshire earlier this month after a high-speed collision in qualifying left him with severe ligament injuries and a substantially damaged Ford Focus.

Bushell was exiting the pitlane as Simon Belcher rounded Allard to start a flying lap, and the two made contact and speared into the barrier on the outside.

The Renault UK Clio Cup champion's return was originally in jeopardy because of his injuries, which reignited a concern over his heart following a bout of pneumonia pre-season, and the rebuild job facing his AmD Tuning team.

But the 25-year-old has been deemed fit enough to race, and launched a crowdfunding effort in the wake of the Thruxton crash to help finance the repair of his Ford that raised over £10,000 in less than a day.

"It just gobsmacked me," he told AUTOSPORT. "I absolutely did not expect it.

"I can't thank these people enough. To raise that amount of money in such a short amount of time is quite staggering.

"I wasn't going to be able to afford it. We don't have a lot in reserve, to be fair we haven't got anything.

"That help has managed to cover the cost of repairing the car. I can't see us not being out at Oulton."

Bushell drove a Mazda MX-5 at Donington Park recently to see if he could take the physical strain following the injuries to his pelvis and left leg.

"It's not bad when I'm sat down," he said of his injury. "I've got to see an osteopathic surgeon but it's not hindering me that much."

He will start the first race from the back of the grid after picking up a third reprimand of the season for his Thruxton crash.

Belcher's team boss Christian Dick told AUTOSPORT last week that, subject to the delivery of parts, the Toyota Avensis driver would also be back for Oulton.

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