2018 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion

Double podium makes the difference, with the final margin of victory just 3 points over Pyro Motorsport’s Max Coates.

James Dorlin has been provisionally crowned the 2018 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion courtesy of a double podium - including a sixth victory of 2018 - at Brands Hatch on Finals Day.

The Vantage Motor Group and GardX Protection-backed racer arrived at the season-closing double header around the 2.4 mile Grand Prix loop a mere 7 points adrift of the championship lead after scoring five victories, eight podiums and a quartet of pole positions and fastest laps apiece in a dramatic campaign.

Starting on the second row - but crucially ahead of chief title rivals Paul Rivett and Max Coates - for the opener, Dorlin made a sound start, relieving Bradley Burns of third on the run through Surtees on the opening lap.

Though the Pyro racer would come back at him, Dorlin made his ninth visit to the rostrum of 2018, edging him to within three points of the championship summit.

Starting on the front row for the finale, screened live to the nation through ITV4’s free-to-air television coverage, Dorlin made the perfect start and relieved Burns of the race lead at Graham Hill Bend.

After stretching his advantage twice, a pair of safety car periods threw Dorlin’s rivals a lifeline, but the Barnsley-based racer quickly set about re-asserting his dominance on each occasion with textbook restarts, before eventually leading home Daniel Rowbottom by 4.061 seconds.

More importantly, however, that result - a sixth victory of a trophy-laden campaign - was enough to see Dorlin crowned the provisional Champion by a 3-point margin.

That result also means Westbourne Motorsport, celebrating their tenth season in the UK’s most competitive single make category, have been crowned Champions for the first time.

For Dorlin, the UK Clio Cup crown marks another step in a meteoric rise through the national motorsport ranks after Junior Saloon Car Championship and Michelin Clio Cup Series honours in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

Whatever comes next, the message is clear: James Dorlin is one to watch.

James Dorlin said, "I am just so proud of what we've all achieved as a team. The support I have from my sponsors - Vantage Motor Group, GardX Protection, Harlequin Teamwear and Prototype Creative - is exceptional, as well as my family.

"A lot of hard work has gone into making this season happen and to top it off as Champions is fantastic.

"All season long Westbourne Motorsport have delivered an exceptional car and to race alongside such team mates as James and Ben Colburn is an absolute pleasure. Onwards and upwards to the next challenge!"