Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Max Coates was back and in fine form at Oulton Park where the Renault UK Clio Cup and British Touring Car Championship drew a capacity crowd in the Cheshire sun.
Coates has a strong test day in the Harron Homes car and early on in qualifying a double front row start and increasing his pole position count looked possible. A longer than expected pit stop made that difficult as thePrimex Plastics backed driver could only manage one additional flying lap in his second run in which the majority of the rest of the grid set their best lap times. 4th place for race one and 2nd place for race two were his qualifying positions.
The PLASgran Recycling driver got away well in both races. He slotted straight into 3rd place in race one and despite hassling Paul Rivett in second all race long he couldn’t find a gap to get past. Coates was left feeling frustrated after knowing that he had the pace to win.
Race two started in much the same way, the Clements Limited driver making a move around the outside at turn one to take the lead. Broadcast live on ITV4, Coates soaked up the intense pressure in the Bennett Renault car and held the lead from lights to flag. The Polydist driver is now only four points behind the championship lead heading into his home round of the series at Croft in just under two weeks’ time.
Afterwards Coates said, “I’m so happy to get back on the top step of the podium. It was a really important win as we had to stop James Dorlin’s 5 win streak becoming 6. Now the momentum lies with me and we’re heading to my favourite event of the season. I’m sure we will have lots of sponsors, friends, family and fans at the track in two weeks’ time and I can’t wait to try and replicate the second race this weekend.”
Croft Circuit near Darlington will host the next rounds of the championship and mark the mid-season point. Coates will be hoping to re-gain the championship lead in front of his home crowd.