Coates takes podium at Snetterton
In the Harron Homes sponsored car, Coates was 3rd and 7th in pre-event testing. Like in testing, Coates and the other eighteen Clio Cup racers took to the track in dry conditions for qualifying. A fast lap on his first set of tires put the Primex Plastics and PLASgran Recycling car in provisional pole position which was held until the final stages of the qualifying session. The Clements Ltd backed driver eventually ended fifth fastest. His second best lap placed him second for race two.
Immediately Coates moved past one of his rivals on the row in front but ended the first few corners remaining in fifth. A little wobble at turn three cost Coates a further two places and then a lunge from another drive lost Coates a further two places. JT Atkinson sponsored Coates regained two spots and was setting fast lap times in the closing stages but was unable to climb higher than 7th.
Promoted to pole position for race two due to a penalty for a rival, Coates’ reaction to the lights was second to that of his front row neighbour. On lap two he fell to third and was battling with a championship rival for a number of laps. Finally into second he began his pursuit of the leader, setting fastest lap after fastest lap and closing down a two second gap to just 0.258 seconds at the finish line.
Coates said, “We’ve shown some really strong pace this weekend and I think it deserved a win, unfortunately we were probably one lap short of doing that. I’m really pleased with our performance and I am confident this pace is going to deliver a race win very soon, hopefully at Rockingham.”
Whilst the gap to the front of the championship has grown the battle for second, third and fourth the remains close. The Renault UK Clio Cup enters another small break before racing continues at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on the 26th and 27th August.
Max Coates (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport Renault Clio Cup Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography