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Coates pips Rivett for emotional Croft race two win as Dorlin retires

Max Coates held off Paul Rivett for an emotional victory on home ground in the Renault UK Clio Cup’s second round of the weekend at Croft Circuit as another of the chief title challengers, James Dorlin, was forced out on the opening lap.
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Starting from pole position, Coates held the lead through the first few corners and then stayed ahead for the full 12 laps. Rivett remained ever present throughout but was never able to mount a serious bid for the lead as he finished an eventual 0.782s behind.

In third was Rivett’s WDE Motorsport team-mate Lee Pattison who set the race’s fastest lap. Fourth was DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom, fifth WDE’s Dan Zelos and sixth Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps.

But the day belonged to Coates who was already in tears when he climbed from his car to be interviewed live on ITV4.

Indeed the result extends his lead slightly to six points over Rivett at the top of the Clio Cup standings. Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin is third but now 25 points adrift of Rivett after he retired his car from the race on the opening lap with a punctured tyre.

Coates commented: “Ten races down, eight to go – it’s great to be in front but the most important thing will to still be ahead after round 18.

“The tears are genuine – the support I get here is incredible and to do it for all the people who get behind me is pretty emotional.

“Paul was always there in my mirrors but I knew I had good pace so it was just a case of keeping it tidy and looking after the tyres in this heat. It’s the best way possible to go into the mid-season break…”

Rivett said: “Yesterday it was my turn to lead Max home; today it’s gone his way but the gap between us is very small and, when you take the dropped score rule into account, I’m actually ahead of him.

“Dorlin’s suffered a setback today but I don’t rule him out by any stretch – I’ve had a DNF to use as my dropped score already and now he’s got one.”

Close behind sixth-placed Epps at the end was Pyro’s Bradley Burns and Westbourne’s James Colburn in seventh and eight. However the most exciting scrap was for ninth position…

MRM’s Jade Edwards held the position initially until a robust attack from Pyro’s Jack McCarthy affected her car’s handling. Still she held on, now with five more drivers trying to get past her, until, eventually both McCarthy and her MRM team-mate Brett Lidsey were able to slip by…

McCarthy, from 19th on the grid, thus took ninth ahead of Lidsey and Edwards as, further back, Pyro’s Zak Fulk took 12th just ahead of WDE’s Sam Osborne, Matrix’s Andy Wilmot and WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton in yet another highly entertaining battle. Fulk had been in among the McCarrthy-Edwards tussle when he was delayed when all three of their cars came together...

Matrix’s Aaron Thompson had finished 12th on the road but a time penalty for a false start demoted him to 17th in the final order behind BLG Racing’s Luke Warr in 16th. Matrix’s Jeff Alden completed the runners in 18th.

CLICK HERE for full result.