A storming drive to the podium in the final race of the season gave Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates 3rd in the 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup Championship. The North Yorkshireman was in fine form once again at the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent.
Qualifying was held in wet conditions after rain started just minutes before the start of the session. Coates qualified the Primex Plastics Ltd and PLASgran Recycling car in 10th and 8th position for the weekend’s two races respectively.
The track was drying as the cars took to the grid for race one which was red-flagged on the first lap following a multi-car crash. The delay allowed all the cars to change to slick racing tires but the GP part of the Brands Hatch circuit was still damp in places making it a difficult race for all involved. Max came out of a terrific battle to finish in 6th position, however his 3rd place championship rival Paul Rivett, a three-time Clio Cup champion, won the race. Max therefore had to move up and pass him in the final round of the season to stand any chance of securing 3rd in the championship.
The newly crowned Clio Cup Graduate Champion was making good progress through the field when Rivett clashed with champion to be Ant Whorton-Eales, which allowed Max through to 3rd place. After a safety car period the racing resumed and Max made his move for 2nd place through the fast GP section of the circuit. He then pulled a gap and tried to close in on the race leader but had to settle for 2nd place in the final race of the season. His championship rival finished last in the race which handed Coates 3rd place in the championship by one point.
Max said “It has been a sensational year, I’ve achieved far more than I could have imagined was possible at the start of the season and to end like this is amazing. We have challenged the established front runners in this championship and beaten a multi champion too, I couldn’t be happier.”
With the season over Max’s focus now goes to tomorrow’s (4th October) British Touring Car Championship test in the Ciceley Motorsport prepared Wix Racing Mercedes A-Class. The offseason will be a busy one for Max as he aims to renew his sponsorship deals to make a return to racing again next year.