Clio Cup favourite Max Coates is confident he can challenge for wins and podiums from the outset in 2019.
Coates competed for Team Pyro in 2018, narrowly missing out on the title and eventually finishing third in the Driver’s standings and amassing 309 points along the way.
For 2019 Coates has moved to Team HARD for their debut campaign in the Clio Cup and he is confident the team will be competitive from the outset.
“I think we’ll be in contention for poles and wins out of the box.” said Coates.
“We have some more announcements to make about team personnel and partnerships that will give us good pace from the outset.”
Coates has already been testing his new Clio ahead of the upcoming season and he is happy with what he has seen so far.
Talking about testing the Yorkshire based driver said, “Preparations are exactly as they have been previously. We’ve done some pre-season testing which has got me back feeling comfortable which is the main thing.”
“Testing has gone well and I feel comfortable in the car. We’re not really developing a set up or learning new techniques so it’s all about being happy, comfortable and refreshing our procedures.”
Team HARD have already announced that Ethan Hammerton and Jade Edwards will join Coates for 2019 and these are two drivers Coates knows very well having previously mentored Hammerton and raced alongside Edwards at Cicely Motorsport in 2017.
Having had experience with both drivers, Coates feels all three drivers will be closely matched.
“Ethan was great to coach, he listens very well and has a fantastic ability to execute instructions perfectly.” said Coates.
“He’s fast and will give me a run for my money for sure, what’s more is Ethan is a nice guy and his family are great too!”
“I’ve been Jade’s teammate previously at Ciceley so I know her well and know what to expect. She’s a good driver and will help with the development of the car and can be very useful for qualifying too.”
“Like Ethan, her and the Edwards family are great to get along with and I’m sure this year will be a barrel of laughs as well as very competitive and successful.”
Although the Clio Cup is Coates’ main priority he still finds time to coach up and coming drivers and he was recently brought in by Want2race as a driver coach.
Speaking about what attracts him to driver coaching the 25-year-old said, “The coaching work is really rewarding, it’s so satisfying to see an improvement in the drivers and I will get nearly as much enjoyment out of their success on circuit as I do my own.”
“I really enjoy the data and video elements where you can get into the nitty gritty of driving technique to find half tenths of a second.”
The Clio Cup gets underway at Brands Hatch on the 6th April.
Feature Image credit: Max Coates Facebook