Max Coates bags solid points in the Clio Cup season opener at Brands Hatch for rounds one and two last weekend for the Renault UK Clio Cup. After an immense start to the pre-season testing pace, Coates was aiming for a solid start to the season which he has got.
With a good pace on the Friday test sessions, Coates culminated in the 2nd fastest time on the day, giving great promise heading into the qualifying round on Saturday.
Rain began to fall when all 24 drivers headed back to the track which ended with a red flag appearing halfway through the race. The result was that Coates in the Plasgan sponsored Clio qualified in 5th and 4th for the weekend’s races respectively, leaving less than two tenths off pole position and with 1 second separating the remaining top 19 drivers.
Coates reclaimed 6th place which, despite his best efforts to move further forward, he held to the finish.
Live on ITV4 during Sunday’s British Touring Car broadcast, race two saw a steady start moved the Primex Plastics and PLASgran Recycling sponsored driver up to 3rd after the first lap. Due to a high-speed slide at the final corner Coates dropped four positions, however, he fought hard and gained 6th place quickly. After a race battle with James Colburn, Coates posted the 2nd and 3rd faster race lap times.
Max commented, ”I’m disappointed not to have stood on the podium this weekend as I feel we had the speed to do so. A tough qualifying cost me dearly but two 6th place finished gives me a good haul of points in the championship and we know we have the pace to be winning races, I’m sure it will come soon.”
Donnington Park will host rounds 3 and 4 of the Renault UK Clio Cup in just two weeks’ time, 15th – 16th April where Coates will be hoping to repeat his pole position from last year and get his first 2017 podium finish.