Coates, who briefly had a taste of the BTCC with a one-off outing at his home circuit of Croft last year, joins the already-announced Ollie Pidgley (Salisbury) and Dan Zelos (Dereham) in Ciceley’s line-up.
The 22-year-old has attracted key sponsorship from plastics specialist Primex and recycling company PLASgran and will get his first taste of his Ciceley-prepared UK Clio Cup car at Croft this coming Friday.
There is now just a month to go before the new Renault UK Clio Cup season gets underway with its opening two rounds at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent (Sat 2/Sun 3 April). All 18 races on its calendar will take place at the BTCC’s high-profile events – meaning huge trackside crowds and live television coverage on the ITV4 channel for its teams, drivers and sponsors.
Coates commented: “I’ve known the people at Ciceley for some time and when they told me they me they wanted to expand on their BTCC team with an entry into the UK Clio Cup I had my heart set on it. So it is a bit of a dream come true, particularly with their links to touring cars which is where I want to be full-time in the future…
“This will be the first time I’ve raced a front-wheel-drive car and that will be the biggest thing to learn. But I’ve raced in a couple of the BTCC’s other supporting categories before and always been competitive so I want to be up there and challenging for podiums and maybe even pushing for the Graduates Cup title for young drivers in their first full season. I think they are realistic goals.”
Ciceley’s star BTCC driver Adam Morgan said: “I really believe we’ve got a cracking driver line-up in Dan, Ollie and now Max for our first attempt at the UK Clio Cup. They might all be new to the championship but each brings something to the table in terms of experience and ability. We were convinced the UK Clio Cup was the right way to go with our expansion and the amount of interest from drivers – and how we’ve found the championship to deal with – has fully justified that decision.”
Renaultsport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes added: “The seriousness with which Ciceley, one of the BTCC’s top teams, is taking its maiden UK Clio Cup programme is hugely impressive. It speaks volumes about the levels of professionalism in the UK Clio Cup and is fantastic to see. I’m also delighted that Max will be on the grid – I know how hard he and his sponsors have worked to make this happen and I’m sure, given his experience at this sort of level, he will be competitive, particularly with Ciceley’s input.”