Mike Bushell targets Donington Park opener following cardiac incident

Mike Bushell says he hopes to be fit to compete in the opening rounds of the new BTCC season next month at Donington Park despite suffering cardiac issues during a skiing holiday in France.

Bushell was airlifted to the cardiac intensive care unit in Chambéry after a recurrence of the heart issue that he was diagnosed with prior to the 2015 season, which resulted in him spending a week in a cardiac ward ahead of his first full season in the series.

The multiple Clio Cup UK champion is set to return to Team HARD for the season ahead having been part of AmD’s programme last year, originally as engineer to Rory Butcher before he stepped in to replace Sam Tordoff for the final three rounds of the year.

Following treatment in France, the 30-year-old is set to be repatriated back to the UK on Thursday to continue his recovery.

“It’s unfortunate that I find myself in this position again, and I know that it is going to take time to build up my activity levels as part of my recovery,” he said. “I’m going to have to follow the advice I get from the cardiologists, and because Donington Park is next month, it is going to be a challenge to make sure that I’m fit for the opening rounds of the year.

“However, that is my target as I don’t want to miss out on any of the season ahead.”

Bushell is the second driver on the BTCC grid to have been hospitalised in recent weeks following Matt Neal’s accident whilst cycling.

The Team Dynamics driver is currently recovering from his injuries but is expected to miss the majority of pre-season testing.