01/08/2019

Coates chasing the max at Snetterton!

Having regained the championship lead last time out at Oulton Park, Max Coates says “two poles, two wins and two fastest lap” are his only goals at Snetterton this weekend.
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Coates moved back to the top of the table when he won the second of Oulton’s two races and arch rival Jack Young failed to score after crashing out.

The gap between them arriving at Snetterton is just six points with a possible maximum of 56 up for grabs from Sunday’s two races – rounds nine and ten of the 18-round calendar.

Team HARD driver Coates commented: “At this stage I’m not thinking about the championship; right now I’m just focusing on winning races and if we do that then the championship lead is a by-product.

"The target this weekend is two poles, two wins and two fastest laps.”

MRM ace Young has said that his retirement at Oulton, plus frustration at being denied a second win in Hockenheim’s F1-supporting Clio Cup Open last weekend have made him extra determined to show what he is capable of at Snetterton, but Coates says that is a challenge he relishes.

Coates added: “We’ve got the slight upper hand in terms of points, but it is incredibly tight. From my side, the exclusion from qualifying at Donington Park and the mechanical retirement there did not help. As a driver I’ve not really made a mistake, but Jack has perhaps let a few errors creep in.

“I’m sure at Snetterton we’ll both be meaning business as soon as we go out on track. We know the importance of every point – it is that tight.”

Snetterton, the longest lap on the calendar, has served Coates well in his three previous seasons in the Renault UK Clio Cup – he won there last year after starting from pole.

But he is wary of the increase in competition at the front being posed by several drivers, in particular team-mate Jamie Bond and Westbourne Motorsport’s Ben Colburn after their podium results at Oulton.

“Earlier on in the year, second place was considered a bad result for me or Jack whereas now third, fourth, maybe fifth would be regarded bad,” continued Coates.

“Jamie and Ben are really getting it together and I’m sure Brett (Lidsey) will be back in the frame somewhere at Snetterton. You’ve also got Ethan (Hammerton) and Jade (Edwards) never too far away and Nathan (Edwards) is also back this weekend.

“That is always an opportunity to put a few cars between you and your main competition but it works both ways – we just need to make sure that type of scenario works more in our favour.”