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James Dorlin (Barnsley) celebrated victories in two pulsating Renault UK Clio Cup rounds at Donington Park yesterday (Sun 29 April) but only after being pushed all the way in the second – broadcast live on ITV4 – by emerging 16-year-old star Bradley Burns (Farnham).

Having qualified on pole position, Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin led all bar the opening lap on his way to a comfortable win the day’s opening race ahead of team-mate James Colburn (Worthing) and Team Pyro pair Daniel Rowbottom (Kidderminster) and Jack McCarthy (Bromley). Colburn though was demoted to fourth by a time penalty, this promoting Rowbottom to a best ever second and McCarthy to third.

In race two Dorlin again grabbed the lead early on but in the closing laps had Pyro duo Burns and McCarthy to contend with. Burns nosed ahead three times only for Dorlin to come back and re-pass him and a nail biting outcome was only decided at the final bend.

Dorlin was able to regain the lead with some desperate late braking and, after riding the kerbs and flirting with the gravel trap, just came out ahead with Burns and McCarthy finishing within half a second of him in second and third.

The result – 19-year-old Dorlin, 16-year-old Burns and 17-year-old McCarthy – meant the youngest Clio Cup podium ever seen. This was after Burns had already made history by qualifying on pole for the race – the youngest driver yet to do so in the Clio Cup. In addition he ended the race with a new lap record.

A gallant fourth was Paul Rivett (Epsom Downs) in a car hastily rebuilt by his WDE Motorsport team after it had suffered considerable damage in an accident in race one.

The result could prove crucial come season’s end for it has kept him second in the standings, just five point adrift of new leader, Pyro’s Max Coates (Scorton), who finished sixth in both of races at Donington.

Indeed heading to the high-speed Thruxton circuit in three weeks (Sat 19/Sun 20 May) Coates has 71 points with Rivett and McCarthy tying for second on 66. Dorlin’s two wins have catapulted him from 12th to fourth on 62 with a maximum of 56 up for grabs at Thruxton…

Elsewhere, there were personal best results at Donington for the small MRM team’s drivers Brett Lidsey (Northfleet) and Jade Edwards (Northampton) with a fifth and an eighth. Likewise Burns’s 16-year-old Pyro team-mate Zak Fulk (Guildford) who managed a fifth in the second race…

Burns leads Fulk in the Graduates Cup for younger drivers in their first full season of the Clio Cup. Team Pyro is ahead in the Entrants Trophy with WDE and Westbourne next up.

CLICK HERE for full race reports.

Leading championship points: 1, Max Coates, 71; =2, Paul Rivett & Jack McCarthy, 66; 4, James Dorlin, 62; 5, Bradley Burns, 54; 6, Daniel Rowbottom, 53 etc. CLICK HERE for full points.

Top 6 finishers, Race 1, Donington Park
1. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), 17 laps in 24 minutes, 12.600 seconds
2. Daniel Rowbottom (Team Pyro), +7.128s
3. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +7.406s
4. James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +11.941s
5. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +14.152s
6. Max Coates (Team Pyro), +18.728s

Top 6 finishers, Race 2, Donington Park
1. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), 13 laps in 16 minutes, 55.970 seconds
2. Bradley Burns (Team Pyro), +0.366s
3. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +0.496s
4. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +2.168s
5. Zak Fulk (Team Pyro), +2.543s
6. Max Coates (Team Pyro), +5.742s

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