Young took the race lead early on but for the next 12 laps came under pressure from MRM team-mate Lidsey and Team HARD’s Coates.
Their fighting allowed Assetto Motorsport’s Edwards to close in and, under braking for the left-hand Brooklands corner on lap 15, her car and those of Coates and Lidsey were three abreast.
Live on ITV4, all three clattered into one another and went spinning off the track (VIDEO HERE).
Edwards and Coates both became stuck in a gravel trap while Lidsey crawled into the pit lane to retire with a damaged car. Coates was eventually able to re-join the circuit but finished a distance 11th.
The incident allowed Westbourne Motorsport pair Ben Colburn and Anton Spires, MRM’s Nathan Edwards and Team HARD’s Ethan Hammerton to dispute the runner-up positions behind the fleeing Young.
In the end second went to Colburn ahead of Hammerton and Spires but Edwards was forced to retire with broken steering.
Colburn was deserving of his second place – his best result to date: he set the race’s fastest lap and at one stage had run with the leaders in a highly dramatic four abreast moment heading to Becketts Corner.
Jamie Bond, his Team HARD car hobbled after earlier contact, took fifth ahead of Westbourne’s Finlay Robinson in a career-best sixth.
The result means that Young has turned a six point deficit to Coates into a 15-point lead at the top of the table heading to Brands Hatch’s final two rounds in a fortnight.
Bond is also still in contention but, 46 points adrift and with only a maximum of 56 now available, is very much the outsider. Lidsey’s retirement from today’s race means his hopes are now over.
Hammerton and Colburn have also been eliminated from the title race this weekend but are now separated by just one point for fifth in the championship.
What did they say?
Young reflected: “I know Max and I have had our rivalry this year, but 100% that is not what I’d wish on him or anyone out there.
“I’m actually glad he at least managed to get a few points and although that incident has given me a 15 point lead it’s still pretty close.
“We’ve seen today how fortunes can change in a split second and I’m sure Max will come to Brands Hatch throwing everything at it. We need to be ready for that.”
Coates commented: “It’s devastating – I’ve put four years into trying to win this championship and really now it’s over barring something strange happening at Brands Hatch. I don’t really have any more words at the moment…”
Bond said: “I was totally out of that race and very probably the title battle at mid-distance as my car was struggling but what happened has given me another life for Brands, my home circuit. After seeing how quickly things can change today, I’ll never give up while there’s still a chance, no matter how small.”
And added Lidsey: “It’s such a disappointing way to end our weekend here and our hopes in the championship, but at least we got the first win yesterday so I’ll still take heart from that. Hopefully we can end on a high at our home circuit at Brands Hatch.”
Result (provisional), Round 16, Silverstone:
1. Jack Young (MRM), 18 laps in 19m35.339s (90.44mph)
2. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.540s
3. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +2.968s
4. Anton Spires (Westbourne Motorsport), +4.576s
5. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +7.589s
6. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +10.214s
7. Paul Taylor (Team HARD), +15.067s
8. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +15.510s
9. Tyler Lidsey (MRM), +17.998s
10. Nick Halstead (Westbourne Motorsport), +18.958s
11. Max Coates (Team HARD), +1m01.167s
DNF. Nathan Edwards (MRM)
DNF. Brett Lidsey (MRM)
DNF. Jade Edwards (Assetto Motorsport)
Fastest lap: Colburn, 1m04.593s (91.42mph)
CLICK HERE for all the results data including leaderboard, sector times and speed trap figures etc.