Pole positions for Dorlin & 'youngest ever' Burns in Donington Park qualifying

James Dorlin and, with a new ‘youngest ever’ record, 16-year-old Bradley Burns took a pole position apiece in today’s dramatic Renault UK Clio Cup qualifying session at Donington Park – decided only on the final lap of the session as drivers continued to improve their times on a drying track.
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Choosing when to make a pit stop for a change to Michelin’s ‘slick’, dry weather tyre was the key and Dorlin and his Westbourne Motorsport team timed it to perfection…

One of the last drivers across the line, his final lap of one minute, 21.558 seconds was good enough to jump to the top of the timesheets and steal pole away from his rivals. Second fastest was Team Pyro’s Jack McCarthy and third his team-mate Burns…

Westbourne’s James Colburn, Pyro’s Daniel Rowbottom and, with a personal best qualifying performance, MRM’s Brett Lidsey completed the top six and that will be how they line up towards the front of the 19-car grid for the start of the first of tomorrow’s two races at Donington.

Race two’s grid – decided by second fastest times – will have a different look to it, however, with Burns coming out on top ahead of McCarthy, Dorlin and championship leader, WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett. Colburn and Rivett’s team-mate Lee Pattison completed the top six this time.

Two drivers with some work to do in tomorrow’s races though will be Pyro’s Max Coates and Matrix Motorsport's Michael Epps. Currently second and equal third in the standings respectively, Coates could qualify only 11th and tenth fastest in the unpredictable conditions while Epps was back in 17th and 14th.

Dorlin commented: “That took some doing – the track was very treacherous still. I think I was something like eighth on the screens going into the last lap but the conditions were improving with each lap so I knew I had to give it everything. P3 for race two is also good as we’ve got some catching up to do after a tough couple of opening rounds at Brands Hatch…”

By qualifying fastest for race two, Burns becomes the youngest driver in history to achieve a Clio Cup pole – beating the record that team-mate McCarthy, aged 17, had set at Brands Hatch just three weeks ago!

Burns, a protégé of British Touring Car team BMR, said: “The tyres still weren’t fully up to temperature so right up to the final push it was all about learning where you could push and how far. It’s great to get my first pole and be up there for race two as well but the gaps between drivers in the final times are a bit misleading because of the conditions. It will be a lot closer in both races tomorrow.”

Sunday’s two races – rounds three and four of the 2018 Renault UK Clio Cup – will take place at 10:00 and 15:55. Broadcasting the action live will be ITV4.

Leading grid positions, Race 1, Donington Park
1. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), 1m21.558s
2. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +0.428s
3. Bradley Burns (Team Pyro), +0.701s
4. James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.907s
5. Daniel Rowbottom (Team Pyro), +1.186s
6. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +1.837s
7. Dan Zelos (WDE Motorsport), +2.120s
8. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +2.311s
9. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +2.353s
10. Zak Fulk (Team Pyro), +2.836s

Leading grid positions, Race 2, Donington Park
1. Bradley Burns (Team Pyro), 1m22.632s
2. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +0.742s
3. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.793s
4. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +1.350s
5. James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.430s
6. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +1.525s
7. Daniel Rowbottom (Team Pyro), +1.710s
8. Zak Fulk (Team Fulk), +1.821s
9. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +1.928s
10. Max Coates (Team Pyro), +2.413s

CLICK HERE for full times.