Dorlin tops Snetterton free practice, newcomers Young and Reeve stun with pace

James Dorlin topped Renault UK Clio Cup free practice at a scorching hot Snetterton today as 16-year-olds Jack Young and Nick Reeve caused a shock with their pace on their debuts.
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Dorlin set what would stand as the day’s fastest time in the first of two sessions with a lap in 2m07.105 seconds in his Westbourne Motorsport car.

However next up, just 0.066s adrift, was the sensational Young – making his first appearance in the senior Clio Cup with MRM, the team that took him to last year’s Clio Cup Junior title.

Team Pyro’s Max Coates, DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom, WDE Motorsport’s Lee Pattison and Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps were next up in the session to make it six different teams in the top six.

In the afternoon session it was Coates who emerged fastest with his best lap of the day (2m07.208s) which put him P3 overall on combined session times. Dorlin followed in P2 with the remarkable Young again right up there in P3.

Rowbottom, Pyro’s Bradley Burns and then Specialized Motorsport’s Reeve completed the top six. Like Young, Reeve is making his first appearance in the Clio Cup this weekend having also won races in Clio Cup Jnr. It is the Specialized team’s first outing, too, making team and driver’s efforts today all the more noteworthy…

Meanwhile Dorlin and Coates go into this weekend both embroiled in the title battle along with WDE’s Paul Rivett who missed today’s opening session because of illness but was able to drive in the afternoon.

Dorlin commented: “To be right up there in both sessions shows we’ve got good consistent pace so it’s a good start. But the conditions could change over the weekend so let’s see…”

Young said: “I’m surprised to be so high first time out. I was thinking we could maybe get inside the top ten but this is a real bonus. Some of the others might not be showing their full hand yet either, but I can’t complain.”

And added Coates: “It’s important to come out of the blocks after the summer break – and having won the last round at Croft – showing we’re bang on the pace still. I felt I could have gone fastest of all today but just as I was going for it in session two a tyre stack had been pulled across the edge of a kerb making one corner a bit slower.”

Elsewhere there was a solid start for Westbourne’s Ben Colburn – another driver making his Clio Cup debut this weekend – with lap times that suggest he could be in for some strong results.

Meanwhile Snetterton marks a return to the Clio Cup for 2015 championship runner-up Ash Hand who, at short notice, is standing in at Matrix for Andy Wilmot – side-lined for the weekend by illness.

Leading positions (combined times), free practice, Snetterton:
1. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), 2m07.105s
2. Jack Young (MRM), +0.066s
3. Max Coates (Team Pyro), +0.105s
4. Daniel Rowbottom (DRM), +0.348s
5. Bradley Burns (Team Pyro), +0.601s
6. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +0.674s
7. Nick Reeve (Specialized Motorsport), +0.720s
8. Dan Zelos (WDE Motorsport), +0.724s
9. Michael Epps (Matrix Motorsport), +0.763s
10. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +0.904s
11. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +0.919s
12. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +0.972s
CLICK HERE for full times.