16/05/2017

Dorlin eager for more wins after Thruxton success but keeping hopes in check

James Dorlin is refusing to get carried away by his maiden Renault UK Clio Cup race victory at Thruxton but is hopeful of another strong showing in this coming weekend’s (20/21 May) two rounds at Oulton Park.
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Dorlin, new to the UK Clio Cup this year, grabbed the headlines with his memorable move on former Champion Mike Bushell at Thruxton to take his first win by just half a car’s length.

The result, plus third place in Thruxton’s other race, means the Westbourne Motorsport driver is fourth in the championship standings going to Oulton.

But the 18-year-old warned: “You need to check yourself – you can’t always be a race winner and just because we had a good time at Thruxton doesn’t suddenly mean we’re getting carried away with thoughts of the title.

“Currently I’m 14 points off third so, yes, it is doable but I’m not thinking like that at all – for me it’s keeping the same mentality, focusing on one event at a time and scoring well.”

Dorlin admits the move that earned him the win at Thruxton was all about split-second instinct.

He added: “Going into the chicane Mike had it covered and I was going to finish second unless he made a mistake.

“But then he seemed to take too much kerb as you turn left through the chicane and that got him a bit out of shape on the exit. I managed to jink right and get partly up alongside him with greater momentum off the bend so he couldn’t come across and block me.

“He squeezed me a bit – I’d have done the same – but it was too late by then. I had to hope my speed would carry me past before the line and it did, just!”

Dorlin’s predictions on this website – that he’d qualify better at Thruxton and be in with a chance a maiden podium result – certainly rang true.

He reflected: “I told you that in the official test there a fortnight before I hadn’t pushed to the limit and that I felt it’d come to us a lot more in qualifying.

“I also changed my psychological approach in prepararing for Thruxton and that helped.

“Race two at Thruxton, up against Mike, also enabled me to learn more about the level we’re now at and the limits of these cars.”

Dorlin’s results at Thruxton will certainly have boosted his confidence and Oulton is a circuit he adores, having decimated the opposition there last year en route to the BARC Michelin Clio Cup Series title.

He said: “I won both races by over ten seconds so it’s a nice memory there, but this year is totally different in terms of cars, environment, competition…

“Not being on the podium in the first four races after winning all the time in 2016… you realise how much you miss that feeling and it makes you a lot hungrier.”