Pattison, second on the grid, took the lead at the first corner, Paddock Hill Bend, in a brave round-the-outside move past Mike Bushell who had started from pole position.
It was a lead he would never relinquish and from there he held on to give the jubilant WDE Motorsport team victory on its home circuit ahead of Team Pyro’s Bushell.
Third was Pattison’s team-mate Paul Rivett – the 1-3 result for WDE giving it an immediate lead in the Teams Championship. Then came Dorlin, in a car repaired by his Westbourne Motorsport mechanics after he’d pranged it in this morning’s qualifying session.
The accident had left the 17-year-old back on the eighth row of the grid but by the end of lap one he’d already made up ten places and was up to sixth! SDR Motorsport’s Shayne Deegan then ran off the road in front of him to gift him fifth spot and he soon made fourth his own with a skilful move past another very impressive ‘rookie, Pyro’s Jack McCarthy, through the long McLaren- Clearways-Clark Curve bend.
Completing the top six were McCarthy and Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates. Dorlin thus leads McCarthy overnight in the Graduates Cup for young first year drivers. Fastest lap in the race also boosted his outright championship by an extra two points.
Pattison explained: “I’m over the moon of course – particularly as this is my first time on the Michelin wet weather tyre.
“It was all about the start. Mike played fair, even though he was still alongside me when we turned into the first corner. After that I felt comfortable in keeping a gap to him.”
Bushell commented: “Pole here is in a bit of a dip and that meant I didn’t quite get the start I wanted. There was no point risking everything to stay ahead of Lee at the start – you don’t win titles at the first corner of the year. I’m still quite happy with second.”
And said Rivett: “I spent the race with a big smile on my face because WDE were winning and I knew so long as Lee and I stayed where we were we’d be going straight to the top of the leader board in the teams’ standings.”
Dorlin meanwhile was delighted with his fourth-place result. “I just made a great start and was up nine places by the time we got through the first bend. The car felt great so many thanks to the Westbourne team for that. I’m starting even further back for tomorrow’s race in 17th so hope I can come through again.”
Behind the top six WDE’s Dan Zelos got the measure of Pyro’s Ollie Pidgley to take seventh. Pidgley finished eighth ahead of fast-closing team-mate Ash Hand. The closest finish of the day was that between Ciceley’s Luke Reade and JamSport Racing’s Nathan Harrison for tenth – just 0.029s separated them at the line with Reade taking the position. Right behind them were PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn and DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom…
After his earlier off, Deegan recovered to finish in 14th ahead of Ciceley’s Sam Osborne, Pyro’s Kyle Hornby. Ciceley’s Jade Edwards was 17th and JamSport’s Aaron Thompson 18th while Westbourne trio Oscar Rovelli, Myles Collins and Ambrogio Perfetti (after a timely off through a gravel trap) completed the 21 finishers…
After a roll in testing on Friday, poor Lucas Orrock was unable to take part when his JamSport car hit problems on the start line…
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