On fastest individual times, North Yorkshire’s Coates completed Croft’s 2.125 miles in an unbeatable one minute.31.195 seconds to edge out his main title rivals Paul Rivett and James Dorlin who will line up around him in second and third on the grid for the first of their races – this afternoon at 16:00.
On second best lap times – which decide race two’s grid – it was Coates again on top with a 1m31.280s. Again it was Rivett in second but Dorlin, the championship leader, was this time a distant ninth.
That race will take place tomorrow and be shown live on ITV4 when it starts 13:55…
“I know what it takes around here and, with the small changes we made to the car’s set-up, it all came together thankfully,” said delighted Team Pyro driver Coates.
“I want to win everything this weekend and two poles is the perfect start – we’ve got the car working beautifully and I think we’ll be strong everywhere from now on to be honest.”
WDE Motorsport’s Rivett, a close third in the standings behind Dorlin and Coates, commented: “Like I always say – I always race better than I qualify so to be starting this high up is a good start. What’s also great to see is that we’ve got three WDE cars right up there in the mix…”
Indeed, qualifying fourth and fifth fastest for this afternoon’s race were Rivett's team-mates Lee Pattison and Dan Zelos – their best lap times equal to the thousandth of a second! DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom, the pace setter in Friday’s free practice sessions, completed the top six.
Zelos went even better on second best times with third overall for tomorrow's grid ahead of Rowbottom in fourth, Pattison in fifth and Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps in sixth.
Of the other teams, Jade Edwards and Brett Lidsey proved evenly matched in their MRM team cars as they qualified tenth and 12th fastest for race one and then 11th and 12th for race two while newcomers BLG Racing and driver Luke Warr enjoyed by far their most competitive showing to date with a pair of 16ths and times that were within two seconds of the ultimate pace.
However there were problems for one of the fancied front-runners Jack McCarthy who suffered problems with his car following a spin and was unable to set a competitive lap time. It means he will start both races from the back of the 19-car grid.
Leading grid positions, Round 9, Croft Circuit
1. Max Coates (Team Pyro), 1m31.195s
2. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +0.049s
3. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.131s
4. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +0.157s
5. Dan Zelos (WDE Motorsport), +0.157s
6. Daniel Rowbottom (DRM), +0.202s
CLICK HERE for full times.
Leading grid positions, Round 10, Croft Circuit
1. Max Coates (Team Pyro), +1m31.280s
2. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +0.060s
3. Dan Zelos (WDE Motorsport), +0.148s
4. Daniel Rowbottom (DRM), +0.171s
5. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport, +0.184s
6. Michael Epps (Matrix Motorsport), +0.287s
CLICK HERE for full times.