Victory for Coates in MINI season finale
The MINI Challenge UK season came to a thrilling end last weekend at the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent and it was Max Coates who took the win in an action-packed season finale.
On the back of a pole position at Donington Park last time out Coates looked strong all the way through qualifying. He ended the session 2nd which also gave the Yorkshireman the second highest qualifying average of the season.
As the first race got underway Coates made the best start and initially lead on the way into the Druids Hairpin. The three drivers behind all entered too quickly and Coates had to take avoiding action by moving onto grass. He dropped to 11th place but made short work of getting back into the top ten. He was then in a race long battle for 6th place and a last lap move round the outside netted him 7th at the flag.
Over the first two laps of race two he gained two places putting him into 5th place and another race long battle, this time with champion elect, Dan Zelos. Whilst Coates was quicker on the GP part of the Brands Hatch circuit, he couldn’t get close enough to mount a serious challenge.
The final race was set to be a real thriller, with Coates 3rd on the grid. It did not take long before Coates slid into 2nd and started to close the gap to the leader, Jack Davidson. With three laps to go the top seven drivers were nose to tail and the leading pair ran wide exiting Stirling Bend. Coates seized the opportunity to take the lead and immediately began opening a gap which he then extended before taking the flag 1.932 seconds ahead of the competition.
The result landed the Primex Plastics backed driver 5th in the 2021 MINI CHALLENGE UK Championship as well as the Graduate championship for drivers in their second year of competing in the series. Coates has already confirmed that he will continue in the MINI CHALLENGE UK next season with the same Graves Motorsport team. The championship will again support the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at seven events in 2022 in which the team will use the season to build into their intended debut season of the BTCC in 2023.
And, an important mention to the members of Primex, who despite the 600-mile round trip, travelled down to support Max across the weekend.