Ecstatic Coates holds off Bushell for maiden Renault UK Clio Cup win at Croft; heartbreak for Rivett...

Max Coates has become the Renault UK Clio Cup’s sixth winner of the season with an emotional and highly popular victory in round ten at his home circuit of Croft, although one had to feel for Paul Rivett who led the race early on only for it to all go wrong…
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Coates’s win, in the second of two UK Clio Cup races at Croft, is also the first in the championship for the Ciceley Motorsport team.

The 22-year-old crossed the line ahead of Team Pyro team-mates Mike Bushell and Josh Price who finished in second and third places.

Price had emerged from the opening corners of the race in the lead when Bushell, who'd started from pole position, ran wide exiting the opening bend. 4Front Motor Group with WDE’s Rivett also benefited and moved into second before quickly closing on and moving past Price for first position.

But just as it looked like Rivett could be on for a second victory – to add to his win in Saturday’s race – there was heartbreak for him as his car slowed with a suspected electrical fault. After a pit stop he rejoined to finish a lap down, although did set the race’s fastest lap for two bonus points…

His downfall suddenly promoted Price back into the lead. But Coates, second in Saturday’s race, was not to be denied in front of his home crowd and at half distance dived past Price at the hairpin. Bushell, now into his stride, followed him past Price into second just a lap later into Tower Bend but, try as the 2014 Champion might, he could not find a way past Coates who coolly held on for the win.

Coates becomes the sixth different driver to win in the Renault UK Clio Cup in 2016 and as a result moves up to fourth in the standings, just one point behind third-placed Rivett.

Coates commented: “Price left the door open for me into the hairpin and I didn’t need a second invitation! But then I saw Bushell in second and knew life was going to get hard – he threw a lot at me but there was no way I was letting that go. What a championship to win in – and what a great way to get my first win in it!”

Bushell said: “The damage was done at the first corner really when I was lucky to stay pointing the right way. That obviously cost me time and places but I was happy with the way I was able to come back into it. Full credit to Max, though – he defended very well and it’s a big win for him.”

And added Price: “I didn’t quite have their pace so when they went for the lead I didn’t put up too much of a fight – I was thinking tactically and didn’t want to get into a fight I probably wasn’t going to win, particularly with the group battling for fourth close behind that stage. I’m still really happy with another podium after my two at Thruxton.”

The man at the head of the table, JamSport’s Ant Whorton-Eales, finished the race in fifth. He spent most of it frustratingly unable to find a way past WDE’s stubborn Charles Ladell who clung on to pip Whorton-Eales to fourth by just 0.050s. Later, Whorton-Eales was handed a time penalty by officials for an incident during the race which demoted him to seventh in the final result...

This promoted the following Paul Streather (Finesse) and Lee Pattison (Cooksport) to fifth and sixth places, therefore. Team BMR with Pyro’s Senna Proctor should also have benefited but he too received a time penalty which demoted him to eighth, just ahead of Team Ecomotive with Finesse’s Daniel Rowbottom in ninth.

PP Motorsport’s Anton Spires was tenth having made rapid improvements every time out on track during the weekend

Next up in 11th came Ciceley’s Ollie Pidgley although barely 1.4 seconds covered him and the following Rory Collingbourne (Cooksport), Luke Kidsley (JamSport), Rory Green (WDE). George Jacksn (Cooksport) and and Dan Zelos (Ciceley) who filled 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th spots. Jackson had actually crossed the line in 11th right behind tenth-placed Spires but tumbled down the order because of a time penalty.

Rivett was the last finisher in 17th with Pyro’s David Dickenson the only retirement.

CLICK HERE for race result.

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