THE TEEN CHAM­PION CAUS­ING A STORM

Motor Sport News - - Profile: Dorlin -

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uild­ing con­fi­dence is a fun­da­men­tal part of any young racer’s devel­op­ment, so imag­ine what boost you must feel if you’re a 17-year-old with two car rac­ing ti­tles to your name al­ready.

That’s ex­actly what James Dor­lin has been able to achieve, and he’s turn­ing heads as a re­sult. Born into a fam­ily of rac­ing en­thu­si­asts, Dor­lin stood lit­tle chance of es­cap­ing a bite from the rac­ing bug – spend­ing plenty of his for­ma­tive years track­side watch­ing fa­ther Peter and brother Richard rac­ing a fam­ily Jaguar Mk2.

From the age of 10, Dor­lin started kart­ing at the lo­cal South York­shire Kart Club’s Womb­well track, where it quickly be­came clear that there was po­ten­tial for him to go fur­ther.

“We knew that as soon as I was 14 and able to move up into car rac­ing, that was what we’d do,” says the 17-year-old. “Kart­ing was still im­por­tant, but it was about bal­anc­ing learn­ing race­craft with­out spend­ing too much money on it be­cause we knew that we wanted to move up. I did it for three years, won the cham­pi­onship in 2012 and then the fol­low­ing year moved into what was then called Sax­max.”

The fi­nal year of Sax­max wasn’t ex­actly the cham­pi­onship’s finest, but Dor­lin stuck at his task. Hav­ing fin­ished run­ner-up in his first year, Dor­lin duly be­came the first win­ner of the re­vamped Ju­nior Sa­loon Car Cham­pi­onship in 2014 in a Citroen Saxo VTR, be­fore opt­ing to jump into the Miche­lin Clio Se­ries with West­bourne Mo­tor­sport – a re­la­tion­ship that had been grow­ing through his spell in the JSCC, hav­ing raced along­side West­bourne boss Richard Col­burn’s son Ben.

“The Clios were run­ning on the same pack­age as the Ju­nior Sa­loons so it made it quite an easy tran­si­tion,” he says. “The car was the same as the one that used to run on the TOCA pack­age and it was a nat­u­ral step up; there’s a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion and that made the Miche­lin se­ries stand out as the best op­tion. You’ve got to learn your trade be­fore you move into the top lev­els.”

But there was a prob­lem. An April birth­day meant he was too young to take part in the open­ing round of the 2015 sea­son, with Dor­lin forced to sit out the open­ing triple header. His first taste of the pack­age in anger might also have been enough to put him off, the sec­ond round tak­ing place at Thrux­ton, but Dor­lin soon stead­ied him­self and ended the year sixth in the points.

“I wasn’t quite old enough to race at

Dor­lin drives to­wards Clio ti­tle at Sil­ver­stone Young­ster has win­ningjbkjkkb­pedi­greekjkb bkbkjk­bkjkb Teenager gives chase at Brands

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