Max Coates has begun preparations for the 2012 season, getting his first taste of a Ginetta G50 at the annual Ginetta Media Day at Silverstone.
Yorkshireman Coates is hoping to move up to the G50 class of the Ginetta GT Supercup this season, after two years in the Ginetta Juniors, which culminated in Coates finishing runner up in November's Ginetta Junior Winter Series.
At the media day, Coates teamed up with Redbrick Racing to share a G50 for the day with Alice Powell. Coates found the car easier to adapt to than expected, increasing his pace over the day to end up not far off the front-running pace.
Coates said: “The jump up from the Junior G40 is quite big, that said G50 was surprisingly easy to adapt to. The differences are bigger brakes, more power, slick tires and a heavier car. The car felt good to drive and once you had the heat in the tires it gave a lot of feeling and grip. I was happy with everything by the end of the day except the brakes, this is where I was losing time. The good thing is that I am aware of that and know how to get around that to allow me to be quick at the first meeting.
“The car felt slower than I expected it to be, making the move from the junior car you expect the G50 to be mind bogglingly fast, in fact it felt comfortable by the end of the day. My lap times were a little bit off, that was to be expected due to a lack of time in the car. I am happy with where I ended up and know that I have time to find on the brakes.”
Coates has been spending the winter working hard to build sponsorship for the new campaign. The Scorton-based driver is nearly set to start the season, thanks in part to Lightwater Valley theme park continuing their support of the teenager, but is still looking for backing to ensure he completes the season.
Coates commented: “Sponsorship is always hard to obtain especially this year as we, as a country, try to get out of a recession. Everything is about sorted to start the season which is great, having the support of all my sponsors is fantastic and Ginetta have helped massively to get me out this season.”
Coates has also been helped with the backing of fans initiative YourRacingCar, adding: “Having the support from YRC allows me to be able to race and gives me better access to the fans and the fans better access to me so it's a win win. The idea of YRC is really quite clever, allowing fans to help a racing driver and support them throughout the season by actually being a part of their team in terms of being a sponsor is something special.
“In terms of its importance to my racing this year YRC is a large part of my racing programme and the significance and importance of having YRC onboard is shown through this. I am really excited to be involved with this project as I think it is something unique and offers fans a great chance to play a bigger part in the racing they love and watch.”
Fans can continue to help Max's progress by joining YourRacingCar. Members will get a picture on his Ginetta G50 race car throughout the season, a member pack and access to the YRC online community and a selection of perks, including discount tickets for Thruxton and Croft, 15% off Red Letter days driving experiences and discounted entry to the Lightwater Valley theme park.