More silverware at Snetterton

McLaren GT4 rising star James Dorlin scored a second podium of the season in the British GT Championship on a mixed weekend at Snetterton.

The BRDC Rising Star arrived at the 2.99-mile Norfolk circuit on the back of an impressive debut weekend both as a McLaren Development Driver and racing in the UK’s premier GT racing category, with the focus on putting the Tolman Motorsport-run McLaren 570S GT4 in the winner’s circle for the first time in 2019.

Dorlin’s team-mate Josh Smith started the opening contest behind the wheel from fifth, rising through the order to third by the time the driver swap came around. Rapid work by the team put the Vantage Motor Group and Prototype Creative racer back out in second.

The gap to the leader had also been cut by ten seconds in their process, but their Pro-Am status reduced their mandatory pit stop time by 14 seconds versus Dorlin and Smith, a gap that ultimately proved too big to reduce in the second stint.

Nevertheless, a second podium of the campaign for the Barnsley-based racer and, with the sister Tolman Motorsport car also on the rostrum, the early season performance of the McLaren 570S GT4 has been underlined.

The second race would prove more frustrating for Dorlin. A blistering first stint saw the #4 rise from 20th on the grid to an incredible ninth on the road at the time of the stops, the highlight a spectacular move to the outside of Riches to pass a handful of cars in one go.

Team-mate Smith would continue the charge to a credible fourth, but officials handed the pair a stop/go penalty for a slow getaway from the pit stops as Smith tried to select first gear, adjudging them to have blocked an Aston Martin GT3 car behind.

Ninth would therefore be the reward, but with more solid points banked, Dorlin and the rest of the team can look forward with optimism to the next event, at Silverstone – the ‘Home of British Motorsport’ and of the BRDC – over the weekend of 8th-9th June.

James Dorlin (#4) said, “Starting the weekend with a podium finish in race one was fantastic. We were closing the gap to the leader drastically with each passing lap, but time wasn’t on our side.

“I think to have such strong race pace early on in the season certainly bodes well for the 2-3-hour races to come later in the season. Sharing the podium with the sister Tolman Motorsport car was also a great result for the team and McLaren, and for them to go on and win race two just underlines how strong the 570S is at the moment.

“I had a strong first stint in the final race, coming through from 20th to 9th by the pit stops, and we were looking good for fourth until Josh [Smith] received a very harsh penalty, and ultimately ended up ninth at the chequered flag.

“We have some work to do with improving our qualifying performance, but I think overall we’ve got a very strong package heading to the next event at Silverstone.”