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Catching up with Max Coates, Primex Plastics sponsored racing driver

As the British motor-racing season enters its end-of-season stage we catch up with Max Coates, Primex Plastics sponsored racing driver. This year Max has been competing in a dual campaign in the MINI CHALLENGE UK JCW Class, ( which is a premier support race at seven out of the ten British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) events, and the all new for 2022, British Endurance Championship (BEC) ( within the TCR category.

His MINI CHALLENGE UK exploits have continued with Colchester based racing team, Graves Motorsport, whom he announced joint plans to enter into the 2023 BTCC series. The BEC has seen Max partner Rhys Lloyd in the newly formed Dragon Sport by Amigo Motorsport team.

We caught up last week with Max to talk about his 2022 season and future plans.

Primex: How have you managed racing in two championships this season?

Max: Thankfully only one round clashed which was Snetterton BEC with Brands Hatch MINI CHALLENGE. Dragon Sport were able to find a replacement driver for that round which enabled me to race at Brands Hatch and I’m really glad I did as it has been my best event of the season so far.

The cars are similar in a lot of respects, both are front wheel drive and similar in power. They have close power figures but that is where the similarities end. In the Opel you sit on the left-hand side of the car where the MINI is right hand drive. Both have sequential gearboxes but the Opel is paddle-shift and the MINI has a gearstick which we use. The Opel has rolling starts where the MINI is stationary but the biggest difference is sharing the car with another driver, so actually I don’t ever start the Opel. The MINI races are also 20 minutes long where BEC is between 2 and 3 hours long.

Primex: What has been your season highlight from both championships?

Max: The highlight has to be winning at Brands Hatch Indy in the MINI CHALLENGE. It was a wet race and I really dominated it. I was at least a second a lap faster than the rest of the grid so that was hugely satisfying. It was challenging too as I had to deal with two safety car restarts which really bunched the pack back up. Each time I was able to pull away so it was a really strong and fun win.

Primex: Croft is your local circuit, what did you enjoy about racing there earlier in the season?

Max: I raced in the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy at Croft. Usually, I am coaching the Graves Motorsport drivers in that championship. Unfortunately, the event didn’t really go to plan on circuit, I was down on power which meant the results weren’t what I expected them to be. It was great to have so many Primex guests along which really made the day for me.

Primex: What has been the hardest race of the 2022 season?

Max: It would have to be our first Britcar Endurance race of the season at Silverstone. Everything that could go wrong, did, even before the race started. We learnt a lot and managed to finish, but it was a tough one with so many car breakages throughout a two-hour race. The drive-shaft snapped before we took to the grid, we then had fuel level and oil pressure issues throughout, so managing that was difficult.

Primex: What are the aims for the final rounds of the season?

Max: I am sitting 7th in the MINI CHALLENGE Championship, whilst it’s still mathematically possible to win overall, it’s a long shot. So the aim here is to fight for every win possible and bring home as many trophies as possible in the last 6 races. We are in with a chance of the team’s championship for Graves Motorsport so that is also on the radar.

Similarly, we were in the mix for the BEC class title but the engine blew up in the last race at Donington Park. It was really disappointing as we thought we could have won there. Alongside Rhys Lloyd I have one more race left in the series this year so we’ll be looking to continue the form from last time and try to win the final event. I think we are in a good position with a few updates to the car.

Primex: How are plans shaping up for 2023?

Max: We announced plans to race in the BTCC in 2023 which are still ongoing. There is a lot still to work out for everything to happen but initial conversations have been going well and it is very much the plan. Alongside that I am looking to continue with Rhys and Dragon Sport by Amigo Motorsport for the 2023 BEC season maybe with some changes to our car of choice, all to be announced in due course.

Max has just raced this last weekend (24th and 25th September) at Silverstone with Graves Motorsport in the MINI CHALLENGE JCW with a number of guests from Primex Plastics suppliers in attendance. The bad luck from this season unfortunately plagued Max again, with three tricky races, despite good qualifying times.

The MINI CHALLENGE UK season will come to an end with the final event at the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent on the 8th and 9th October, a race he won in 2021. The final BEC round comes from Donington Park GP on the 22nd October which is Max’s final event of the 2022 season.

If any suppliers or customers would like to go and watch Max in action, please ‘get in touch’.

To stay up to date with Max’s racing activities you can find his website at


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