Coates set a new Clio Cup qualifying lap record around Knockhill with his best time of 56.140 seconds during this morning’s qualifying session. That’s the thick end of a second under the previous record.
Young was next up in second just 0.035s adrift but a four-place grid penalty (a consequence of his incident with Coates at Thruxton) means he will drop to sixth on the starting grid for the race which gets under way at 16:20.
It also means that promoted to second on the grid – his first front-row starting position – is Ethan Hammerton.
Similarly Jamie Bond moves to third to make it Team HARD cars in the top three positions on the grid. MRM’s Brett Lidsey and Westbourne Motorsport’s Ben Colburn will start fourth and fifth ahead of Young in sixth.
Young, though, will be on pole for Sunday’s race having set the second fastest lap of anyone during qualifying. Coates will be alongside him in second with Hammerton, Lidsey, Colburn and Bond the order immediately behind them.
The first half of today’s qualifying session was held in dry conditions but light rain then made it impossible for drivers to improve their times.
Coates, just six points ahead of Young in the title race, commented: “With Jack’s penalty it’s important we took full advantage with pole for today – but let’s see what the race brings. We’re not sure what the weather will be.”
Young reflected: "I can't do anything about the penalty so I just have to look forward to seeing what I can do from further back than normal – hopefully a good result is still possible and we know there's good pace in the car. At least we've made sure of pole for tomorrow."
Meanwhile Hammerton said: “It feels good to be starting from the front row for the first time – we’ve been having some good results lately including the win last time out at Thruxton and I want to keep that momentum going here.”
Bond, now up to third in the standings and very much a title contender still, added: “I’m slightly disappointed because the rain messed up our plan and on my best lap I lost maybe half a second with an error at Duffus Dip – that could have been pole.”
Qualifying, Race 1 (Round 13), Knockhill:
1. Max Coates (Team HARD), 56.140s (81.24mph)
2. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +0.380s
3. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +0.447s
4. Brett Lidsey (MRM), 1m23.337s +0.488s
5. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.688s
6. Jack Young (MRM), +0.035s * 4-place grid penalty
7. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.193s
8. Tyler Lidsey (MRM), +1.311s
9. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +1.697s
CLICK HERE for full times
Qualifying, Race 2 (Round 14), Knockhill:
1. Jack Young (MRM), 56.407s
2. Max Coates (Team HARD), +0.121s
3. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +0.148s
4. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +0.377s
5. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.441s
6. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +0.758s
7. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.190s
8. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +1.634s
9. Tyler Lidsey (MRM), +2.204s
CLICK HERE for full times