Silverware on British GT debut
McLaren GT4 rising star James Dorlin underlined his title credentials by claiming a first podium in the British GT Championship on his debut weekend in the category at Oulton Park.
The BRDC Rising Star put in a superlative display alongside new team-mate Josh Smith to rise from the fifth row of the grid to take the runner-up spot in the season-opener.
Steady progress in the opening exchanges around the 2.69-mile International loop saw the Barnsley-based racer move his Tolman Motorsport-run McLaren 570S into sixth before a safety car interlude.
Once the action resumed, Dorlin continued to make strides towards the sharp end of the GT4 field, pitting to hand the reins over to Smith from second, a position the pair duly held to the chequered flag to start the campaign in positive fashion.
A solid points finish to round off the weekend’s work looked to be on the cards as Smith pitted to hand over to Vantage Motor Group and Prototype Creative-sponsored racer Dorlin in the final race, but misfortune took that result away in the closing laps.
Another safety car after an incident further ahead in the GT3 race meant the 19-year old was forced to wait at pit exit on a red light, dropping a lap behind before being allowed to rejoin.
A case of mistaken identity by the officials then followed, with Dorlin handed a penalty in error for allegedly speeding in the pit lane during his stop, curtailing any chance of catching back up to the rest of the field as he took the chequered flag 14th.
The net result of both races places Dorlin and Smith fifth in both the GT4 Drivers Championship and Silver Cup standings, a mere seven points adrift of top spot, whilst Tolman Motorsport sit third in the Teams' stakes.
The championship heads next to Snetterton, in Norfolk, over the weekend of 18th-19th May.
James Dorlin (#4) said, “It’s been a good weekend on the whole. It’s fantastic to start my British GT career with a podium finish – full credit to everybody at McLaren Automotive, Tolman Motorsport and my team-mate Josh Smith for that result.
“We’ve definitely underlined the McLaren 570S’ potential this weekend. We’re in a good place in terms of finding a base setup to work from, and I’m confident with all the knowledge and experience we’ve gained at Oulton Park, we’ll be able to consistently fight towards the sharp end for the rest of the season.
“Special thanks are also due to my partners – Vantage Motor Group and Prototype Creative – for all their continued support. It’s great to be able to repay them with some silverware early in the year.
“We’ll head to Snetterton in four weeks' time in high spirits from here – it’s one of my favourite tracks and we’ve got a strong package, so I see no reason why we can’t fight for race victories again there.”