Ginetta GT4 SupercupMax Coates Blog

Max Coates Blog: A Racing Comeback

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Coates returned to the Ginetta GT Supercup for Century Motorsport (Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

It’s been a busy couple of months for me.  I made a racing comeback at Brands Hatch with Century Motorsport and, had an interview at the Motorsport show UK and have been working on things for next year.

So starting with Brands Hatch…

The deal came late in the day, not as late as some occasions this year but still pretty last minute.  The chance to race wouldn’t have been possible without or Lightwater Valley!  Friday testing was held in some of the worst conditions we’ve seen all year, and, as a result getting used to a brand new car was difficult.  I didn’t want to push it too hard and have an off so built up my pace over each session.  I finished the day a couple of seconds off the pace but was happy knowing where I needed to improve and felt that was realistic.

Saturday was dry and we jumped straight into qualifying.  I ended up 9th which was ok, I wasn’t over the moon but I wasn’t unhappy.  I had been in the battle for 3rd on the grid most of the time but had a bad last two laps which should have been my fastest.

Race one was great.  I made an awful start, it was the first time I had launched the G55 properly.  I fell to the back of the pack but made my way back to the front group.  After mid-race distance the front four started to break away and I started to catch Fergus Walkinshaw in 5th.  On the last lap I got close enough to make a move and started to force an error.  The first came at Hawthorns, the fast right on the GP loop.  I dummied and got the cut back on the exit.  I was alongside him and he forced me onto the grass. I was so determined to beat him I caught him back up in two corners from a long way back. Another dummy into the last corner meant I had the run onto the finish straight.  I opted for the outside line and as I took the flag I had edged in front by less than a tenth of a second.

Starting 5th for the second encounter meant I had a fighting chance of a podium if I could increase my pace a little.  The driveshaft came out on the way to the line so I had to start from pit lane which effectively ended my chances of a podium result.  As gutted as I was, I knew I could come back through.  I made a few mistakes pushing hard but came back to finish 9th.  I had matched the pace of the leaders in tricky conditions which pleased me.

The final race was one to forget, but learn from.  I stalled on the line; the slope of the grid caught me out.  I went off at Graham Hill bend when I locked up.  Shortly after I saw the temperature gauge had gone up and I decided to pit and make sure there wasn’t any grass in the radiator.  Unfortunately there was and pitting was the best option.  When I went back out the oil temperature stayed high so I pitted for a second time.  I finished in 16th place and a lap down.

A weekend of up’s and downs, but more importantly a weekend in which I learnt an awful lot about myself, the car and its capabilities.  That weekend gives me a step up for next year and means I can started the season with race winning pace and a better knowledge of the car.  Whilst I want to be racing a Ginetta G55 I do have to find the full budget to race so plans may change accordingly.

Last weekend I attended the Motorsport Show UK and had an interview on the main stage.  I had a good day and got around all the stands.  I made some good contacts looking forward to next year and the future.

I’ve been hard at work trying to sort out a plan for next year.  Things are going well but I’m not there yet.  The next few weeks will be very telling so I’m putting everything into making next year happen and be my best yet.

I would like to finish by saying a massive thank you to everyone who has read my blog this season, to all my sponsors who I wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much without and to everyone who has become a part of and supported me throughout the year.

Until next time,


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