Coates wins soaking wet Croft race one ahead of Young and Bond

Max Coates tamed diabolically wet conditions to take victory ahead of Jack Young and new podium face Jamie Bond in Croft’s opening Renault UK Clio Cup race.
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Coates started from pole position and led every lap of the race – shortened due to delays earlier in the afternoon.

He also set the fastest lap for two bonus points and his win has elevated him to second in the standings behind Young who finished the race in second.

MRM’s Young had been close to Coates up until lap five when he skated off the track exiting the chicane. Such was their advantage over the rest, however, he was able to rejoin without losing a place, although at the end was some 22 seconds adrift of Coates…

“They were very tough conditions,” said Coates. “You had to concentrate every inch not to lose it on the puddles and the car was aquaplaning a lot.

“When I saw Jack had gone missing in my mirrors I just backed right off and stroked it home. Maximum points are just what I needed for the title race and we start from pole again in tomorrow’s race.”

Young, his lead over Coates at the top of the table now down to 17 points, reflected: “It was actually nip and tuck between Max and I up to my off – the puddle just sucked the car off the edge of the track and from then on it was all about getting back on the track and picking up what I could.”

Meanwhile Coates’s Team HARD team-mate Bond came through from seventh to grab third on the penultimate lap from MRM’s Nathan Edwards who took fourth – the pair of them both eager to achieve their first podium result. Edwards had held the position for most of the race before Bond made his move on the sprint out of Tower Bend.

Behind in fifth having challenged for third early on was Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn. Sixth with a move on MRM's Brett Lidsey exiting Tower on the final lap was Team HARD’s Jade Edwards. Lidsey drove almost the entire race with damage to the front of his MRM car after a dramatic 720-degree spin first time through the Jim Clark Esses.

Elsewhere, Westbourne’s Ben Colburn took eighth and Specialized Motorsport’s Luke Warr ninth.

Westbourne’s Finlay Robinson and Team HARD’s Ethan Hammerton were both retirements, the latter after a wild spin into the gravel trap at Clervaux Bend.

Result: Race 1 (Round 5), Croft
1. Max Coates (Team HARD), 8 laps in 13m23.097s (76.20mph)
2. Jack Young (MRM), +21.864s
3. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +27.488s
4. Nathan Edwards, +30.067s
5. James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +34.920s
6. Jade Edwards (Team HARD), +37.447s
7. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +37.947s
8. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +55.894s
9. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +1 lap