Young led all the way from pole position, responding to pressure from Lidsey at mid-distance before opening out an eventual winning margin of almost four seconds.
His victory made him the youngest winner in UK Clio Cup history (he is still aged just 17 years and six months) while Lidsey’s second place – his best finish to date – made sure of a dream 1-2 result for the MRM team.
The battle for third ended in a fraught three-way scrap between Colburn and Team HARD duo Jamie Bond and Ethan Hammerton.
Colburn looked to have the position safe on the penultimate lap when Bond and Hammerton tangled. Come the finish line, though, he was back under pressure as Bond closed to within just two tenths of a second of him with the race’s fastest lap which capped a very impressive debut.
Hammerton took a fighting fifth as Jade Edwards (also Team HARD) completed the top six in spite of an opening lap spin.
She, Coates and Bond had all chosen to start from the pit lane exit which circumvented having to go to the back of the grid with a ten second penalty – punishment for a breach of the technical regulations in qualifying.
All three took advantage to close up on the pack during a safety car period (called when Aaron Thompson’s Westbourne car spun and became stranded at Holywood). Coates then briefly got as high as third but any hopes of challenging Young and Lidsey ended when his car stopped with a mechanical glitch.
It means heading into this afternoon’s second race – round four of the season – Coates has fallen to third in the standings behind new leader Young and Lidsey.
Elsewhere, Westbourne’s Finlay Robinson finished the race in seventh in spite of a spin which meant he had to catch and re-pass Specialized Motorsport’s Luke Warr who took eighth. Ninth a lap behind after his earlier dramas was Thompson.
Result (provisional), Round 3, Donington Park:
1. Jack Young (MRM), 15 laps in 20m10.569s
2. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +3.769s
3. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +10.666s
4. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +10.964s
5. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +12.949s
6. Jade Edwards (Team HARD), +17.914s
7. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +36.719s
8. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +44.683s
9. Aaron Thompson (Westbourne Motorsport), +1 lap
DNF. Max Coates (Team HARD), +7 laps
Fastest lap: Jamie Bond, 1m16.856s