Dorlin holds off Burns & McCarthy in nailbiting race two for Donington double

James Dorlin survived a relentless attack from Bradley Burns to make it two out of two with victory in the second of today’s Renault UK Clio Cup races at Donington Park.
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Dorlin had finished seven seconds clear of the rest in the day’s earlier first race. This time though he had to fight for it right to the line…

The Westbourne driver had taken the lead from Team Pyro’s Jack McCarthy on lap two but the latter’s team-mate Burns also made it through and from mid-distance onwards the pair were joined in battle at the front of the field.

Three times in the closing laps – once with a stunning manoeuvre around the outside at the difficult McLeans corner – Burns nosed ahead only for Dorlin to fight back and reclaim the lead. Into the final bend, the chicane, Burns looked like he’d done enough but Dorlin, braking desperately late on the inside line, was not to be denied.

After riding the kerbs and skirting with the gravel trap he emerged still in front and was able to hold on to the chequered flag. Burns and the rapidly closing McCarthy finished right behind – the trio covered by less than half a second at the end.

Dorlin said: “What a perfect day it’s been – two wins are huge and get me right back into the title hunt after a tough time at Brands Hatch. Next up is Thruxton where I won 12 months ago – we’re back in the game!”

Notably Burns not only set a new lap record in the race – his second place makes him the youngest driver in history to achieve a top-three finish in the Clio Cup.

The podium itself – 19-year-old Dorlin, 16-year-old Burns and 17-year-old McCarthy – was also the youngest ever seen in the championship…

Behind, Paul Rivett was fourth and Zak Fulk, another 16-year-old, took a personal best finish in fifth. Rivett’s fourth was testament to the incredible job that his WDE Motorsport team had done in repairing his car following a heavy accident in race one.

Sixth to leave Donington with the championship lead was Pyro’s Max Coates. He was just clear of WDE’s Lee Pattison after both had worked hard to escape a tussle with MRM’s Jade Edwards and Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps who took eighth and ninth.

Edwards’s eighth place was her best yet in the Clio Cup while team-mate Brett Lidsey – fifth in race one – completed the top ten to cap a positive day for the MRM squad.

He headed a queue of five cars which, behind him, finished with Pyro’s Dan Rowbottom taking 11th just ahead of WDE’s Dan Zelos who recovered much ground after an earlier spin, Matrix’s Andy Wilmot and JET/WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton.

WDE’s Sam Osborne, also with this group for much of the race, and Westbourne’s James Colburn took 15th and 16th. Colburn had run in second early on before spinning to avoid McCarthy’s car under braking for Redgate Corner… Matrix pair Aaron Thompson and Jeff Alden were 17th and 19th, sandwiching BLG Racing’s Luke Warr in 18th.

Result (provisional): Race 2, Donington Park
1. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), 13 laps in 16 minutes, 55.970 seconds
2. Bradley Burns (Team Pyro), +0.366s
3. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +0.496s
4. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +2.168s
5. Zak Fulk (Team Pyro), +2.543s
6. Max Coates (Team Pyro), +5.742s
CLICK HERE for full result.