Dorlin splashes to victory ahead of early leader Orrock in race one at Silverstone

James Dorlin mastered atrociously wet conditions to win the Renault UK Clio Cup’s opening race at the Northants circuit ahead of Lucas Orrock who took a career-first podium result in the championship in second place.
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So bad was the rain that the race was delayed by an hour and then had to start behind the safety car.

Orrock maintained his pole position advantage while, behind, Dorlin was able to get past Paul Rivett to take over second position.

Quickly he started to pressure Orrock and all it took was a minor slip from the Team Pyro driver at Becketts corner for Dorlin to pounce and take the lead. From there the Westbourne Motorsport driver was never headed as he splashed his way to his second win of the season.

Orrock kept the pressure up for a while before backing off and taking second ahead of WDE Motorsport’s Rivett.

Pyro’s Jack McCarthy and Mike Bushell were fourth and fifth and DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom sixth. Bushell had fallen behind Rowbottom mid-race but was soon back ahead and on the final lap set the race’s fastest lap time to earn two bonus points.

With his closest championship challenger Lee Pattison finishing back in eighth behind his WDE team-mate Luke Reade in seventh, all Bushell requires from tomorrow’s race at Silverstone – being shown live on ITV4 – is a n 11th place finish to be sure of the title. He will start that race from pole position…

Meanwhile Dorlin’s win today also netted him a maximum score in the Graduates Cup for young, first year drivers in the UK Clio Cup and it moves him ten points closer to class leader, Pyro’s Nathan Harrison… Just 21 points now separate them.

Dorlin commented: “That was very hard work because the car was aquaplaning even in a straight line – the conditions we pretty foul. Also my windscreen had misted up badly so I couldn't see through it so well but when Lucas slid wide and I went through at least I didn’t have his spray to contend with as well. The win means a lot and I’s also given me a boost in the Graduates – it’s a trophy I’d really like to win.”

Orrock said: “James was gaining on me the most at Becketts so I tried to push a bit harder there and it caught me out, but he is a very deserving winner. But I’m still very happy with the result – we’ve had our first pole and led a race for the first time and now got that first podium, despite having never raced one of these cars in the wet before.”

And reflected Rivett: “That was just about the wettest race I’ve ever done in a Clio and there were a few moments along the way. I’m sure everyone had at least one scare. But I was relatively safe in third so I’ll take that.”

Elsewhere there were offs in the race for MRM Racing’s Brett Lidsey and Ciceley’s Jade Edwards – both were able to recover and finish. But Pyro’s Zak Fulk was not so fortunate, retiring after several laps when he skated on into the gravel trap at the Brooklands corner.

CLICK HERE for the full result.