Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Renault UK Clio Cup racing driver Max Coates took a 9th and a 4th place finish at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, at the weekend, aboard his Harron Homes Ciceley Motorsport car.
The weekend wasn’t without drama, initially the Clements Limited backed driver ran inside the top four in qualifying but slipped back to 11th at the chequered flag, the top fifteen drivers were covered by 0.6 seconds.
Whilst lined up on the grid for race one Silverstone was met with a thunderstorm. The track changed from dry to wet in minutes and the severity of the worsening conditions meant the race was delayed for over an hour. Once the race did start it did so behind the safety car, reducing the opportunity for Coates to gain valuable positions in his hunt for 2nd in the championship. During the race visibility was limited and the amount of spray prevented full performance from the engine. Despite the issues Coates managed to climb two places in his Primex Plastics and PLASgran Recycling sponsored machine and finished 9th.
Whilst the heavens opened for race two the rain shower was short and insignificant. Coates lined up 13th, courtesy of his second fastest lap in qualifying, for the race shown live on ITV4. He did not disappoint and in true Max style he climbed up through the order. He made up two positions by turn one and quickly made his way through to 7th place during which he spent half a lap door to door with his team mate. Once onto the back of the leading pack he began his podium challenge. With five laps to go he moved into 4th position but was unable to catch the podium battle and mount a serious challenge.
Afterwards Coates said, “It has ultimately been a weekend of two halves. Saturday wasn’t ideal, an uncharacteristic low qualifying position thanks to being blocked on my best lap and failing to gain an all-important slipstream made it hard work for the two races. Race one was very difficult given the spray and to make any progress through the field proved tough. Race two was another story, I made a great start and got a bit fortunate as I got into the top ten. From there I just pushed hard and picked each position off one by one.”
The weekend’s results mean that the JT Atkinson sponsored driver remains 4th in the UK Clio Cup standings, with two rounds remaining at the Brands Hatch GP circuit in two weeks’ time 2nd is still very much up for the taking.