Late drama denies Dorlin once again at Spa
James Dorlin’s remarkable run of bad luck continued in last weekend’s British GT Championship clash at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with a final lap collision for team-mate Josh Smith denying the McLaren GT4 racer a maiden victory.
The BRDC Rising Star missed out on pole position after a gamble to stay on wet tyres on the drying 4.3-mile Belgian circuit didn't quite pay off, but made immediate amends at the race start with a sensational move to the outside of La Source to rise from fourth to the race lead.
Vantage Motor Group-backed racer Dorlin then set about extending his advantage in the Tolman Motorsport-run McLaren 570S, moving some four seconds clear at the front before managing the gap prior to the driver swap.
Team-mate Josh Smith picked up faultlessly where the Barnsley-based racer had left off, retaining the advantage up front until contact on the final lap caused terminal radiator damage, leaving the pair seventh in the final reckoning.
That made it three races in succession that a frustrated Dorlin has retired from a comfortable race lead, but the McLaren Driver Development Programme ace has vowed to bounce back when the series resumes at Brands Hatch (GP) on 3rd-4th August.
James Dorlin (#4) said, “I still can’t really believe it. That makes it three races in a row where something has put us out of the running whilst leading.
“Having said that, as always, there are plenty of positives to take from the weekend, not least in that I led the GT4 pack for the entire duration of my stint, and Josh underlined the pace of the Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S by doing exactly the same until that incident on the final lap.
“It’s frustrating we’re not fighting for the championship right now, because that’s genuinely where we should be, and have deserved to be. The shared frustration right across the team was evident afterwards, which really makes you appreciate all the hard work everybody puts in to allow us to go racing. We win and we lose together – motorsport can be cruel, but it’s how we bounce back as a team that’s important.
“The plan going forward is to see out the season as strongly as possible, and hopefully before the end we can take that first victory that we’ve come so close to, and which everybody is pushing so hard for. Thanks to everybody again for all their efforts!”