Max Coates has extended his championship lead in the Renault UK Clio Cup with a dominant second race win aboard his Harron Homes sponsored Pyro Motorsport car.
In testing, Coates was solidly in the top three in the timesheets and was sitting top of the table midway through qualifying on Saturday. In his second run he produced two identical times, 2 minutes 6 seconds .276 which secured 4th for race one and pole position for race two.
Despite getting off the start line well the Primex Plastics and PLASgran Recycling sponsored driver couldn’t make up any positions into turn one and slid off the road at turn 2 when he locked his front brakes. He re-joined in 17th place before storming back through to 11th at the finish. Fortunately for Coates, his main title rivals also suffered similar issues and finished in 7th and 8th places. Thanks to the championships dropped score rule he actually was better off in terms of the championship fight.
In the second race, Coates didn’t make the best start and fell to second from pole position. After a brief safety car outing, the Clements Limited driver reigned in early leader Dorlin before a brave move around the outside earnt him the lead. The Bennett Renault car then extended the lead gap to 1.237 seconds at the flag and perhaps, more importantly, the championship lead to 22 points with the championships dropped score rule applied.
Afterwards, Coates said, “It’s been an interesting day, race one wasn’t ideal but with others also having lower finishing positions it didn’t make the result too bad. Race two was awesome, the car felt great and the move to get the lead was fun. I’ve enjoyed the battles today, door handle to door handle action is what the Clio Cup is all about.”
Rockingham (Northamptonshire) hosts the next round of the series on the 11th and 12th August. Coates scored a double pole and a lights to flag win there last year so will be hoping to replicate and extend his championship lead even further.