Yorkshireman Max Coates was back in action in the Ginetta Junior Championship last weekend when the series headed to the new Snetterton 300 circuit, with the privateer having a mixed bag of results in Rounds Eleven and Twelve of the series.
The Scorton-based teenager was automatically at a disadvantage all weekend, with the Harron Homes sponsored driver unable to test at the new circuit prior to the meeting, like many of his rivals had. Despite this though, Coates put his Pyeroy Ltd backed G40 twelfth and eleventh on the grid for the two races respectively.
Max said: “I am pleased with my qualifying effort, I was pushing really hard that I went off twice. I am gutted to only be 0.030s off the top ten which considering the lack of testing is very pleasing.”
In race one, a superb start saw Coates make up four places with a bold move around the outside, getting into eighth, before benefitting from another driver spinning to regain another spot. This put him in seventh and part of a long train of cars battling for fourth, which the Catterick Leisure Centre sponsored driver worked his way through to get into fourth. He looked set for the place, until on the final corner of the final lap, a decisive move from a rival lost him momentum, dropping him to a sixth place finish.
Coates commented: “I think race one went really well. As always I was aiming to get on the podium or win and from 12th that looked unlikely. I just picked people off as I could and for once seemed to have a little luck. I made four places around the outside at the first corner, then just got myself on the back of the group ahead. I ended up 4th with one lap to go. Will Foster made a move around the outside into Brundle but went in too hot and ran on. He gave the place back and then I aimed to keep them behind for the rest of the lap. Will squeezed through at the last corner and Tom Howard got through too, 6th wasn’t a bad result considering the starting position.”
Race two didn't go to plan for the MSA Academy member though, with the Millers Oils-backed driver chasing the pack ahead throughout the race and unable to catch them, he had to settle for just an eleventh place finish.
Max reflected: “Race 2 was comparatively quiet. I made another good start and moved to tenth. I tried to run with the pack ahead and make some moves along the race. Unfortunately I struggled to do that. My overtaking was not as good as it was in the first race and I struggled with under steer. I fell off the back of the pack and in the closing laps I battled with Will Foster and Niall Murray. I got sandwiched at Coram and then Will came through at the final corner and this forced me onto the grass. This gave Will and Niall the gap they needed and I couldn’t catch them. I ended up 11th which was disappointing considering race 1.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get to this stage in the season, all my sponsors and team members input and efforts are all greatly appreciated”