Coates bounces back from Qualifying crash for solid points
North Yorkshire racing driver Max Coates had a rollercoaster weekend at Oulton Park where he was competing in his Harron Homes sponsored car in the Renault UK Clio Cup.
In pre event testing Coates was inside the top ten with a number of drivers separated by just tenths of a second. Moments before Saturday’s qualifying session the heavens opened, starting with spitting rain and progressively getting worse. Coates pitted for wet tires when the red flags appeared and selected a used set of Michelin’s wet tyres. The rain continued to fall and Coates posted the 8th best time of the session shortly before crashing at the final corner, Lodge. His Primex Plastics and PLASgran Recycling backed car clipped a white lined before hitting the barrier head on. Minutes later another driver made the same mistake and hit the back of Max’s car which was in the already destroyed barrier. The damage was extensive but the Ciceley Motorsport team were able to straighten the car enough to be able to race in the first round of the weekend just three hours later.
Clements Ltd sponsored Coates climbed two places at the start and on the run into the Island Hairpin gained another two as his competitors collided and ran wide. Running in 4th he came under pressure from behind and was tapped wide exiting Cascades dropping him back to 6th where he remained to the flag. Race two followed in a similar way, Coates up two places at the start to run in 5th at the end of lap one. The race was red flagged within a matter of laps to repair damage to the circuit after a first corner crash. At the restart Coates, sponsored by JT Atkinson, held his position and was running in 5th when another red flag brought the race to a finish, another driver had barrel rolled and landed on top of the tyre wall lining the circuit.
“This weekend has certainly been eventful. I can’t thank my team, sponsors, friends, family and team mates enough for the amazing work they did on the car between Qualifying and the race to just get me back out. Also a big thanks to the marshals and safety team who did a great job to get my car back quickly and safely. 5th and 6th aren’t the results we had hoped for and we know we are capable of much more, hopefully we can show this at Croft and have a trouble free weekend.”
The weekend’s results move Coates to 4th in the championship standings, just 25 points behind 2nd place. The next rounds of the championship come from Croft in North Yorkshire, Coates’ home track, where he scored a win and a second place last year. He will be hoping to replicate this on the 10th and 11th June.