Max Coates began his pursuit for the 2019 Renault UK Clio Cup in perfect style as he won both races at Brands Hatch last weekend. Although for the second race he was helped by a decision in the stewards room which handed him victory.
It seems that it’s going to be a titanic battle between the experience of Max Coates and the youthful talent of Jack Young in this seasons battle for the last ever Renault UK Clio Cup title.
Max held the lead from pole position in race one and despite the attentions of Young in the early laps. A move around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend on lap three to keep his lead was the turning point for the race.
Whilst Young tried his best at closing up in the last few laps, Max retained his lead and crossed the line to take victory by just three tenths of a second.
As Jack celebrated his maiden Clio Cup podium, his teammate at MRM Racing Brett Lidsey was also celebrating his first podium in the series with third place.
Lidsey did have to work hard for his first podium finish as the Team HARD pairing of Ethan Hammerton and Jade Edwards were asking questions through the race as they too had the opportunity to grab their first Clio podiums. However, supreme moves under braking kept Brett on course for celebration.
Ethan Hammerton finished fourth on his Clio Cup début whilst Jade scored her best ever finish of fifth. Aaron Thompson and Finlay Robinson finished sixth and seventh for Westbourne Motorsport ahead of Ben Davis in the third MRM car.
Positions sixth to ninth were just covered by a second and ninth was taken by Ben Colburn who finished twenty seconds ahead of Luke Warr in tenth.
Anton Spires suffered from mechanical gremlins on the grid and therefore didn’t start the race.
With Coates back on pole position, a fantastic manoeuvre by Young into the first corner right after the start gave him the lead. A lead he was to hold until the flag.
However, Young wasn’t to have it all his own way as an error through Clark Curve gave Max an opportunity to get side-by-side with Jack down the main straight. But, the MRM man did enough to defend through Paddock and keep his race lead.
Finlay Robinson was left on the grid at the start and his stricken Clio had to be moved during a safety car intervention. This was what ultimately led to Jack Young copping a penalty and dropping to second in the race times due to him being deemed to have contravening the safety car rules.
Having already started to accelerate for the restart, Jack then subsequently braked which in turn broke the rules and gave him a one second penalty. Despite a post race appeal, the decision was upheld and Coates took his second win of the day.
Third again went to Lidsey despite his half spin through Paddock on the opening lap. Fourth went to Jade Edwards who bettered her best ever Clio finish from the day before and fifth went to Ben Davis who enjoyed a great battle with the Team HARD car of Edwards.
Anton Spires endured a better second race as he finished sixth ahead of a damaged Thompson who earlier had a collision with Ben Colburn, the latter had to retire due to the incident.
Ethan Hammerton finished eighth following a drive-through penalty due to a grid indiscretion and Luke Warr came ninth.