The start of the race was delayed to allow competitors to switch to wet weather tyres following a sudden downpour. And when it got under way, Coates, on pole position, found himself being out-dragged to the first bend by fellow front-row starter Dorlin.
The Westbourne driver quickly tried building an advantage but Coates refused to let him go and at mid-distance he managed to wriggle around the outside of the Westbourne driver into the tricky left-right Brundle-Nelson chicane.
From there Pyro’s Coates steadily drew clear to cross the line 1.237s clear of second-placed Dorlin. WDE Motorsport’s Lee Pattison was present throughout and took third.
Significantly WDE’s Rivett suffered a costly spin after a brush with another driver and, after pitting, finished a lap down outside the points. It all means that Coates leaves Snetterton with a handsome 27-point lead over Rivett at the top of the table heading to the championship’s next two rounds at Rockingham in a fortnight. Dorlin in third has closed to within three points of Rivett…
Coates’s win was his fourth of the season. He also earned two bonus points for setting the race’s fastest lap and he said: “That was a tough move to put on James but I knew it was do-able and I felt I was faster than him at that stage. Plus knowing Paul was out, it was a chance to really maximise the opportunity.
“I still have a worst score of six points to drop – ironically from this morning’s race – but that still leaves me well ahead with six races left.”
Dorlin reflected: “In sectors one and two I felt I was quicker than Max but he was better in sector two and it’s where he got me. I tried making it difficult but, having seen Rivett was in trouble, I wasn’t going to try anything too risky and throw away a chance to make up ground on him in the championship. I’m still happy with second.”
Behind, Pyro’s Zak Fulk disposed of WDE’s Dan Zelos on the final lap to claim fourth position. However their positions were later reversed by officials who deemed Fulk had been a little too robust in his move on Zelos. Sixth after coming all the way through from 22nd in a remarkable drive was Pyro’s Jack McCarthy…
Positions in the midfield swapped and changed throughout. Westbourne’s James Colburn came through it all to finish in seventh ahead of Pyro’s Bradley Burns, Matrix Motorsport’s Ash Hand and Specialized Motorsport’s Nick Reeve. Burns had run as high as third early on while tenth place capped a strong debut weekend in the championship for Reeve and Specialized.
DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom, the winner of race one this morning, could this time manage only 11th ahead of WDE’s Nathan Edwards who performed well in only his second appearance of the season. In 13th and scoring points in effectively his first Clio Cup race (he was unable to start race one earlier today) was Westbourne’s Ben Colburn.
Of the 23 drivers in the race, four failed to finish: WDE's Sam Osborne span intro retirement at Riches Corner, his team-mate Nic Hamilton stopped on the opening lap with a damaged car and MRM duo Jade Edwards and Jack Young struck mechanical problems and