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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Max wins in MINI CHALLENGE at Brands Hatch

Date: Friday 27 May 2022

Racing driver Max Coates – who is sponsored by ignition and sensor specialist NGK – grabbed his first win of the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE season in a dramatic final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

In his Primex Plastics sponsored car, Yorkshireman Max Coates was the fastest driver in damp and wet conditions in Sunday’s two races as the hot hatch race series supported the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at the Kent venue.

On Saturday Coates qualified his JiC Transport backed car in seventh position, just over half a second from pole, and after a battle with several cars in the early stages the Graves Motorsport driver was running in sixth position mid-race but was overtaken in the latter laps and finished seventh.

Sunday’s two races looked as though they would be held in wet conditions, but the rain stopped as the cars went to the grid for the first race and Coates relished the opportunity to gain three places on the first lap and gained a podium finish and also set the race’s fastest lap.

The final race of the weekend was held in full wet conditions and starting from second on the grid Coates immediately pounced on the race leader and gained the lead twice throughout the first lap. By the end of the second lap, he was nearly two seconds clear at the front of the race. Despite two safety car periods Coates soaked up the pressure and was over a second a lap faster than his nearest rival when the race restarted. The race finished when another driver crashed which handed Coates a convincing win.

Coates said:

“The two races on Sunday have been so much fun, I felt fast all the time and really enjoyed the damp and wet conditions. The team have found a great wet setting which undoubtedly helped me today and to be able to have pace in hand in race three was quite a surprise, but one I enjoyed.”

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said:

“Congratulations go to Max who pulled off a tremendously gritty win at Brands Hatch and will continue to press hard throughout the rest of what will undoubtedly continue to be a very exciting series.”

Coates will next be in action at Oulton Park on June 11th and 12th. Live timing from the event will be available via whilst Max’s Sunday race will be televised live on ITV4 at 2.10pm.

For more information about NGK and its products and services, please visit the website at