29/11/2016

Michelin Clio Champion Dorlin closing on UK Clio Cup deal with Westbourne after prize test

James Dorlin is targeting a move up to the high-profile Renault UK Clio Cup grid in 2017 following his title win in this year’s club-level Michelin Clio Series.
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Dorlin tested the latest-spec UK Clio Cup race car late last week at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit – his prize for lifting the Michelin-backed category which uses older UK Clio Cup machinery (pictured left/image: Phil Laughton).

The 17-year-old from South Yorkshire commented: “Firstly this is a great prize from Renault Sport UK – it’s always nice to sample latest-spec machinery and the UK Clio Cup race car is a fantastic piece of kit.

“I have had a few brief runs with Westbourne Motorsport – my team from the Michelin Series – in their UK Clio Cup race car but this was my first full go in anger in one.

“There’s the switch from a sequential to a paddleshift gear system to get used to and the brakes in the latest-spec car are also different – no servo means you need to treat them slightly differently. But I felt right at home and Renault Sport UK couldn’t have been more helpful or supportive.”

He added: “This week I’m placing an order for a new UK Clio Cup car with R. Sport (Renault Sport UK’s official importer) and the plan is very much to be on the UK Clio Cup grid at British Touring Car events in 2017 with Westbourne. The huge crowds there and the live ITV4 coverage are very attractive for drivers, teams and sponsors…

“Fingers crossed we’ll get at least one more run with Westbourne before Christmas and then get cracking with the new car in the New Year.”

Renault Sport UK’s Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “James did a great job in our UK Clio Cup car with a professional approach that resulted in some rapid lap times. We would very much welcome his move into the championship for 2017 and, with a top name like Westbourne, I am sure he can flourish.”