Junior Saloon champion Dorlin stars in Clio Prize Test with Westbourne

James Dorlin with Ed Pead
James Dorlin with Ed Pead

Leading Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series team Westbourne Motorsport provided 2014 Junior Saloon Car Champion James Dorlin with his first taste of a third generation racing Renault Clio at Brands Hatch this week, part of the teenager’s prize for winning the JSCC.

Delivering an impressive showing on his maiden outing in a 2.0-litre normally aspirated, slick tyre shod Renault Clio, 15-year-old Dorlin – who won the Junior Saloon Car Championship title this year in only his second season of racing – was thrilled with the run on the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit with the Haywards Heath team.

“I had been really looking forward to the test and it didn’t disappoint”, said the Barnsley racer who is targeting graduation into the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series next year, “The Clio was great and once I got to grips with the car I felt totally at home and put in some good times.

“To compete in the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series next year has to be the natural progression for me having won the JSCC this year. I would like to thank Richard [Colburn] and the team at Westbourne for a great day.”

Dorlin’s test began on a damp track and although it did eventually dry, rainfall arrived later in the day. Considering the tricky conditions, as well as double the power compared to the JSCC car he campaigned this year and the use of a sequential gearbox for the first time, Dorlin impressed with team principal Richard Colburn and driver coach Ed Pead singing the youngster’s praises.

Pead commented: “Having worked with many junior drivers in Westbourne’s seven year association with the JSCC, it’s great to see another fast driver making the step up. James got to grips with the car really quickly and we were soon lapping very fast in some tricky conditions, in the dry he was really committed and very impressive.”

Westbourne team principal Colburn added: “James did a cracking job, I was really impressed by his maturity and focus. He listens well and definitely has an abundance of natural talent, he’ll be one to watch next year.”