Former Ginetta and Porsche racer Max Coates will make his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut this weekend at Croft, racing for Support Our Paras Racing in a second Infiniti Q50 in a deal set to last for the remainder of the current season.
21-year-old Coates will join Derek Palmer Jr in a second Q50 machine at his home circuit this weekend, the Yorkshireman formerly having raced in the BTCC’s supporting Ginetta Juniors, Ginetta GT4 Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
The Support Our Paras Racing squad have yet to register a point this season after a battling introduction to the championship, parting company with Infiniti after the third meeting of the season at Thruxton.
“I’m over the moon to be joining Support Our Paras Racing in the BTCC”, said Coates ahead of his BTCC debut, taking the seat vacated by Richard Hawken and Martin Donnelly.
“The structure of the team is unique and it really is all about supporting the Paras. It’s an honour to represent the Paras on track. The guys are learning a lot very quickly, but they have teamwork and desire to succeed in abundance.”
The Scorton racer sampled Porsche Carrera Cup GB machinery in a one-off outing last season at Donington, also competing in the Ginetta GT4 championship’s G55 most recently on the TOCA package.
Coates admits he is ‘under no illusion’ of the challenge ahead of his maiden BTCC foray, but intends to stake his claim for potentially securing the second seat on a long-term basis after 2015.
He added: “I’m under no illusion as to how hard the racing will be. This is the first part of a longterm plan with the team and I am very excited about opportunities both now and in the future.
“Racing in the BTCC will be a dream come true. There has been a lot of hard work, from a number of people, behind the scenes over the last five years since I joined the TOCA paddock. Kicking off my BTCC career at Croft, my home circuit, will be something special.”
Support Our Paras Racing team principal, Derek Palmer Snr, added his delight at the appointment of Coates, saying: “I’m delighted to welcome Max to the team. We know what he’s capable of, and he has bags of potential which we’re confident we’ll be able to nurture and develop.
“It’s an exciting appointment for the team, and we’re looking forward to working together for the rest of the season, and into 2016.”
- Max Coates is part of #TeamTCF and writes a regular blog for theCheckeredFlag.co.uk, read his previous blogs here.