Coates held off a strong challenge by Young at the start to lead the opening laps.
However, the MRM driver then hit the front just as news filtered through that he had been given a ten-second time penalty for ‘creeping’ at the start.
Young would lead the rest of the race and also set a new lap record – finally beating Jonny Adam’s long-standing mark from 2004 – but on corrected times his penalty meant he was classified fourth in the final result.
Second and third went the way of MRM’s Brett Lidsey and Coates’s Team HARD team-mate Jamie Bond.
Lidsey had briefly looked to wrest away second (and ultimately the win) from Coates at mid-distance before dropping away. Bond had also been right in the mix early on before damaging his car and losing time with an error exiting Sunny Out.
Coates was jubilant with the result having also won Saturday’s race on his home circuit – he has now reduced a 23-point gap to Young at the top of the table to just 12 (CLICK HERE for table)…
“After a difficult time at Donington we’ve bounced back in style and put some pressure back on Jack at the top,” reflected Coates.
“I’m sure when he knew he’d got the penalty he tried slowing the pace so Brett could have a go at me for a while. But I knew as long as I kept second on the road and stayed within ten seconds of Jack then the win was coming my way.”
Behind, Westbourne Motorsport’s Ben Colburn took a lonely fifth as Team HARD’s Jade Edwards completed the top six after seeing off the squabbling Finlay Robinson (Westbourne) and Nathan Edwards (MRM).
Specialized Motorsport’s Luke Warr took ninth ahead of Westbourne’s James Colburn – tenth and a lap down after problems early on and also with a time penalty for a start line infringement. Team HARD’s Ethan Hammerton failed to finish.
Result: Race 2 (Round 6), Croft
1. Max Coates (Team HARD), 12 laps in 18m17.855s (83.61mph)
2. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +2.977s
3. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +5.690s
4. Jack Young (MRM), +9.149s – also NEW LAP RECORD 1m30.200s
5. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +10.534s
6. Jade Edwards (Team HARD), +15.880s
7. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +19.603s
8. Nathan Edwards, +19.854s
9. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +33.786s
10. James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +1 laps
FULL RESULT & ANALYSIS HERE