Young won the latest round at Thruxton on the road only to be disqualified for a move at the final bend which led to Coates crashing out.
It had been a similar story in the previous event at Snetterton, Norfolk as penalties cost Young two more potential victories after he twice tangled with Coates there as well.
Their squabbling has enabled the season’s revelation Jamie Bond to close in – despite missing the two opening races of the season, the Kent racer is now up to third in the championship table just 32 points adrift of leader Coates.
Given there is a maximum of 56 points up for grabs at each event there is still everything to play for as the championship now heads for the spectacular Knockhill circuit on the weekend of 14-15 Sept.
This year’s two rounds at Knockhill will mark the first trip ‘north of the border’ by the Clio Cup since 2015.
Four more races (or rounds) will then follow – two each at Silverstone (28-29 Sept) and then on the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent (12-13 Oct) to decide who will become the last UK Clio Cup Champion in history.
If Bond – who took a maiden victory at Snetterton – can continue to close on Coates and Young at the same rate he will, remarkably, be in with a realistic chance of the title at his home circuit of Brands Hatch.
As others have shown in recent rounds, though, it is not just about the top three…
At Thruxton, Brett Lidsey who, like Young, drives for the Bristol based MRM team, took a career-first pole position and could have had a career-first win, too, only for a time penalty (for a false start) to relegate him down the result.
Coates’s Team HARD team-mate and fellow North Yorkshire racer Ethan Hammerton, however, was able to become a first-time winner at Thruxton – inheriting victory as a result of Young’s disqualification.
But two other drivers came close to getting in Hammerton’s way – Ben Colburn, driving for his West Sussex team Westbourne Motorsport, and Team HARD’s female racer Jade Edwards had both been challenging Hammerton up until the penultimate lap when they span together at high speed.
Looking ahead to Knockhill, the Clio Cup drivers will first be on track there on the Friday (13 Sept) for two free practice sessions.
Qualifying and their opening race are on the Saturday with race two on the Sunday being televised LIVE on ITV4.
The event, being headlined by the British Touring Car Championship, is expected to attract a trackside crowd of over 30,000 people.
CLICK HERE for the Clio Cup’s race dates and ticket details.