Max Coates enjoyed a superb weekend at Thruxton, the Yorkshire-based privateer taking his first ever podium in the Ginetta Junior Championship in Round Five, before repeating the trick in Round Six around the high-speed Hampshire circuit.
Coates was instantly on the pace during Friday practice and continued this into qualifying, setting the fourth fastest time of the session, with his second best time also putting him fourth on the grid for race two. The first race saw Coates hold his place early on, before taking third around mid-distance, which he held on to for his maiden podium in the series.
Reflecting on race one, Coates said: “I'm very happy, first podium of the year, so that's absolutely fantastic. It's a great way to reward the team for all their efforts. I managed to get a better start than Struan [Moore] and then unfortunately Myles [Collins] got me at the first complex, putting me back to fourth.
“We than had the safety car but about three laps after that I got Myles into the first corner. I could have done with getting past him sooner, as that would have given me more time to catch both Seb [Morris] and George [Gamble], who had gained quite a significant gap over me.
“Once I got through it was a case of pulling a bit of a gap and then trying to catch the front two. One more lap and I reckon I would have been right with them, with a chance of a win.”
Coates, who announced a new partnership with Welcome To Yorkshire at the meeting, continued his strong weekend in Sunday's live televised race, taking third early on and holding on to it throughout for his second podium finish. The results see Max move up to third in the championship standings, fifteen points off second.
The Pyeroy, Harron Homes and Millers Oils backed driver added: “Another podium, a great way to finish off the weekend and again reward the team and sponsors. Really quite enjoyed the race, but just could have done with catching Seb and George, they were very, very fast and to be honest my tyres were starting to go, so I couldn't quite push as hard as I'd liked to have.
“I had a couple of close encounters around the back, just skimmed the grass and things like that, so I had to back off a little bit to ensure that I kept the podium. It is a fantastic result.”
Next up for Max is Rounds Seven and Eight at Oulton Park, a meeting he is looking for success at: “I'm really wanting to win at Oulton, I really enjoyed the track last year. I think the car is as quick as anything out there and I believe Oulton Park's a track I click with. We've got a nice four week break so we'll go away and ensure that the car is properly sorted out, so I can go out and take a win.”