Dorlin-Harrison-McCarthy Graduates tussle another ‘one to watch’ at Thruxton

James Dorlin says he is out to stamp his authority on the Renault UK Clio Cup’s Graduates Cup at Thruxton this weekend having built a slender lead in the class over Nathan Harrison and Jack McCarthy.
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All three drivers have achieved a maximum score to date with the leaderboard to-ing and fro-ing like never before. Indeed in the season’s opening four rounds there have already been three lead changes…

Westbourne’s Dorlin took the honours ahead of McCarthy in Brands Hatch’s opening round only for the Pyro driver to achieve a maximum in race two there – a result which helped put him top of the table.

In Donington Park’s opening race it was new Pyro signing Harrison’s turn to be the first Graduate across the line while, behind, events meant that Dorlin moved back into the class lead. While he finished the race in seventh (to Harrison’s sixth) for second in class, McCarthy suffered an unfortunate retirement.

He bounced back in race two with his second maximum of the season in sixth outright ahead of Harrison and Dorlin (seventh and eighth at the flag) but that DNF had done the damage.

Heading to Thruxton, Dorlin leads on 107 points to Harrison’s 103 and McCarthy’s 92. However with a maximum of 64 up for grabs from the two races the following Myles Collins (Westbourne), Kyle Hornby (Pyro) and Aaron Thompson (JamSport) are also very much in touch on 77, 64 and 61 points respectively.

Dorlin, recently turned 18, said: “I’ve not qualified inside the top ten yet so I’m pretty happy with the way things have worked out and that DNF of Jack’s showed the importance of scoring in every race.

“It looked like I was a bit off the pace in Thruxton testing but I actually wasn’t pushing it that hard – I’m fairly confident I’ll be a lot closer to the pace there when it matters.

“In fact I feel I’ve had the pace to win the Graduates every time out but I’ve been starting too far back to do that. This time I intend starting a lot closer to the front, getting the two Graduates wins and my first outright podium result as well.”

Dorlin believes whoever goes on to win the Graduates title will be a worthy Champion and that the trophy will bring added kudos for the winning driver.

He added: “It’s going to be a big fight as Nathan, Jack and myself seem quite evenly matched and you can’t discount the others either. One look at who’s won it in the past… Ashley Sutton, Max Coates. It will mean a great deal to whoever gets it in the end.”