Heading to Silverstone’s penultimate rounds of the season in just over two weeks' time (15-16 Sept), Coates tops the table by seven points from nearest challenger Paul Rivett while James Dorlin, in third, is 30 behind him.
However any of the ‘last eight’ hoping to still be in with a chance of the crown in Brands Hatch’s season finale in late September must be within 56 points of whoever is leading after Silverstone's rounds.
Currently only Rivett and Dorlin are within that threshold: Daniel Rowbottom in fourth is 61 adrift of top spot with those next up – Jack McCarthy, Michael Epps, Bradley Burns and Lee Pattison – some 79, 84, 91 and 108 behind respectively.
A maximum of 112 points is possible from the final four rounds – 56 of them at Silverstone.
But said Coates: “At a glance people might rule out everyone from Rowbottom down but I’d say ‘don’t rule anyone out’!
“The most recent rounds at Rockingham were a stark reminder of how quickly it can all turn around – I suffered a retirement in race one and the others closed in; then in race two I get a podium and they all finish behind me.
“Anything can happen and I predict two very hard fought races coming up at Silverstone. Agreed, it looks unlikely that McCarthy, Epps, Burns and Pattison will still be in the running at Brands but it’d be foolish to say that until it’s certain.”
The fact that Coates leads the championship heading into the penultimate rounds means he actually has a chance of putting the title out of his rivals’ reach at Silverstone.
But he added: “That’s not going to happen and I’m not even thinking about that. I’m thinking only about qualifying and the two races there and getting the most out of them that I can – qualifying in particular is going to be important at Silverstone.”