Max Coates is targeting a championship challenge as he returns for a second season in the Renault UK Clio Cup next year with Ciceley Motorsport.
Coates enjoyed a fantastic first season in the Clio Cup this year, finishing third overall in the championship and taking a dominant title success in the Graduates Cup category.
Despite it being the Yorkshireman’s first full-season campaign since 2011 and his first in front-wheel drive machinery, Coates was on the pace from the off with Ciceley.
The 22 year old laid down a marker with an early pole position at Donington Park, before taking a podium breakthrough with a third place finish at Oulton Park.
Next time out Coates took an emotional first victory at his home circuit Croft, with podium finishes on each of the final six weekends of the season giving him a top three points finish.
With that success under his belt, Coates now has title aspirations as he heads in 2017 with backing from Harron Homes, Primex Plastics Limited and PLASgran Recycling Limited.
“The decision was a bit of a bit of a no brainer to be honest and I’m delighted to be back – with a season of the UK Clio Cup now under my belt and with the continuity of working with Ciceley I know we have a great chance of going for the title in 2017,” commented Coates.
“2016 was when I’d say I really got my career properly back on track after a number of bit-seasons in other categories. A strong season in the UK Clio Cup has definitely given my driving career a new lease of life in all departments – it’s sharpened up my act on track and my profile is a lot closer to where I want it to be,
“I’m working with real professionals in Ciceley and it’s helped me bring on board some great sponsors who I want to take all the way to the BTCC. Add all those together and you produce a critical mass which puts you in a great position for the future – it’s the best move I’ve ever made in my career.”