On his first weekend in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, Max Coates took a superb class victory at Brands Hatch.
After two years in the Ginetta Junior Championship, Coates has made the move up to the G50 class of the Supercup with Redbrick Racing and the Yorkshireman enjoyed a positive debut weekend at the Kent circuit.
The Lightwater Valley-backed driver started with some strong times in Friday practice and that pace was replicated in qualifying, Coates putting his Welcome to Yorkshire-backed car third on the G50 grid.
A sluggish start saw Coates drop to fourth position and suffering from a lack of front end grip, Coates was to drop to fifth late on, before receiving a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits, dropping him to sixth in class. After the race, it was found that Coates' rear anti-roll bar had snapped, the explanation for the grip issues Coates had faced throughout the race.
The race one result meant Coates had to start race two from the back of the grid, but after a short safety car period, Coates was quickly moving his way up the field, soon into the top three.
A mistake by the class leader allow Coates into second and a superb overtake saw the Harron Homes-backed driver storm into the class lead. A great defensive driver over the last few laps saw Coates take the win, to the delight of all the yourracingcar.com members cheering him on.
Commenting on the win, Coates said: “It's fantastic, it was a brilliant race, starting from the back and coming through to win. At the start it was just a case of getting heat in the tyres and then when I had the grip I could start to push. It was a case of taking every opportunity I could and I started picking them off one by one. I had no reason to think a win wasn't possible this weekend, I thought a podium was more realistic, but I knew I was strong in the races and to have our first podium as a win is a real triumph.”
With his first victory in the bag, Coates was hoping to add to it in race three, however on the green flag lap his gearbox broke, ending his race before it had started.
Coates added: “Out of the three races this weekend I have had mechanical issues in two that prevented me from getting the best out of the car and myself. I can take a lot of positives from this weekend and know I have the pace to challenge for race wins and the championship. I have an uphill battle now to find the backing to get to the next round and finish the season but hopefully people can see the potential from my results this weekend.”
Redbrick Racing team manager Richard Bulmer commented: “It has been a pleasure and revelation working with Max this weekend, his professionalism and feel for the car is fantastic. The fact that he is very quick is a real bonus. Considering he has had no testing in the car before this weekend taking a hard earned win at his first senior race weekend is a credit to him. I would urge any potential sponsors to back this lad to give him the opportunity to fulfil his dreams which are totally realistic.”