Ciceley Motorsport’s Coates had to give second best to one of his chief rivals, Josh Price, as the highest-placed Graduate in the first of Silverstone’s two races – Price finished third outright for a maximum score in class while Coates was fifth overall and second in the category.
However that was still enough to put the title beyond the reach of Price and his Pyro team-mate Senna Proctor as both now were more than 100 points adrift with only 96 available from Silverstone’s second race and Brands Hatch’s final two rounds.
Coates richly deserves his title – won in 2015 by Ashley Sutton who has gone on to stardom in the British Touring Car Championship. It has also previously been won by Jordan Stilp (2014), Josh Files (2013) and Josh Cook (2012).
For the record, Coates has racked up 11 wins in class from the 16 races held to date. The battle to watch now is Proctor versus Price for the runner-up spot – heading to Brands Hatch the two BMR-backed Pyro teenagers are separated by just one point (Proctor on 369; Price on 368).
Pyro’s Entrants’ Trophy title is its third in four years. However success has not come easy this time around and after the season’s opening rounds it didn’t even figure inside the top four with WDE Motorsport, Team Cooksport and JamSport all getting in on the act.
An entrant’s score is the combined total of its two highest-placed drivers in each race and, since Oulton Park’s seventh and eighth rounds, Pyro has consistently been able to draw clear of the rest thanks to the finishing records of Price, Proctor, Mike Bushell and David Dickenson.
After Silverstone it is 140 points ahead of nearest challenger JamSport with a maximum of 120 available from Brands Hatch’s season-closing rounds. Just as in the Graduates Cup, the battle to be second-best in the Entrants’ standings is intense – JamSport holds the position heading to the Brands Hatch finale but is only 36 points clear of third-placed WDE.
Meanwhile Cooksport’s Lee Pattison has an unassailable lead in the Masters Cup for drivers aged over 38. With 500 points his score is more than double that of nearest challenger, JamSport’s Graham Field. In fact Pattison has a near-perfect score – only once has he not been the best-placed ‘Master’ in 2016 – at Donington when 20Ten Racing’s Craig Milner took the win after he and Field both hit trouble.