After gaining the Renault UK Clio Cup Championship lead at Donington Park, team Pyro’s Max Coates arrived at Thruxton hoping for podium successes and race wins.
In previous years the circuit hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Harron Homes sponsored driver, but Coates was keen to change that. Qualifying was the first session of the weekend and Max sat 2nd at the mid-point. He then bettered his time later in the session to take pole position for round 5 of the championship. His second fastest time was the 3rd fastest overall and as such the Primex Plastics backed driver secured a second row start for round 6.
The PLASgran Recycling driver got away from the line well in race one and lead the opening lap and half before being passed by his team-mate Daniel Rowbottom and James Dorlin. The three battled to the chequered flag, Coates re-passed Dorlin in a classy switch back move at the first complex of corners before a mistake let him back past. When Dorlin and Rowbottom battled for the lead Max was able to slide past his team mate Rowbottom exiting the final corner, right in front of his sponsors Clements Limited watching trackside.
The second race of the day was broadcast live on ITV4, Coates in the Bennett Renault car held 3rd off the line and remained in position for the entirety of the race. He applied significant pressure to Paul Rivett throughout but the pair were unable to mount an attack on leader Dorlin after he cut the chicane on lap one. The result dropped Coates to second in the standings but the Polydist driver is only trailing by two points.
Afterwards Coates said, “This weekend has been a significant one, the Thruxton round has been a bit of a disaster the previous two years so to put it on pole position and then take two podium positions is a massive achievement for me and underlines our potential for the remainder of the season! I really enjoyed race one in particular, the battle between the three at the front was hard, close and clean, perfect Clio Cup racing.”
The ultra-competitive one make series heads to Cheshire and the picturesque Oulton Park Circuit on the 9th and 10th June for the next two rounds.