Westbourne targeting title success in 2019 after near miss in 2018

Westbourne Motorsport’s newly announced joint Team Principals Richard & James Colburn say they are determined to challenge for 2019’s Renault UK Clio Cup crown after narrowly missing out on the title this year.
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James, one of the longest serving Clio Cup drivers in history, is taking up the mantel to run the family based team alongside his father ahead of the 2019 season.

He brings the experience of multiple Clio Cup race wins and an ability to fine tune a car’s set-up – gleaned from a decade of competition in the championship.

This year James Dorlin provisionally lifted the crown for Westbourne in Brands Hatch’s season finale, only for Paul Rivett to later win an appeal with the sport’s governing body Motorsport UK which tipped the title outcome in his favour instead.

Westbourne also achieved the rare feat of five wins on the bounce thanks to ‘Dorlin doubles’ at both Donington Park and Thruxton and victory in race one at Oulton Park.

The first of those doubles nearly resulted in a dream 1-2 finish for Westbourne with Dorlin crossing the line in first ahead of team-mate Colburn in second. Alas the result wouldn’t stand as a ‘track limits’ time penalty demoted Colburn to an eventual fourth but it was the closest any team came all season to a 1-2.

“That one stills pains us a little as does being denied a first title by the Motorsport UK hearing but, still, what a terrific season we’ve had,” commented Richard.

“We came very close to the title in 2011 with James C but this was by far our most competitive season yet.

“It’s testament not only to the drivers but also every member of our team and great partners such as Vantage Motor Group, GardX and Terraclean. The team has evolved in 2018 and it puts us in a great position for 2019.”

Looking ahead to next season it seems certain that Colburn’s younger brother Ben will contest a full campaign having made a positive impression in 2018’s final eight rounds (he scored points in five of them).

And said Richard: “We’ve always been about bringing on talent through the ranks and after James Dorlin then Ben is certainly one for the future.

“We can’t officially name names or sponsors yet but after coming so close in 2018 we are determined to come out fighting once more in 2019. We already have two more great drivers on board and look forward to announcing these shortly.  

“The plan is to run four cars next year. Certainly we’ve got some very positive data to work with and, as we showed in 2018, we were the team to beat on most occasions with a very fast car at every type of circuit. Our cars were also very reliable, too.

“Certainly our door is open and we would be very interested to hear from drivers looking for a very well prepared car in the professional set-up we can provide.”