Photo credit: (Jakob Ebrey Photography) Max Coates signs with Graves Motorsport on a multi-year deal as the team announce BTCC plans
Graves Motorsport can today announce a multi-year contract extension with multiple race-winning MINI CHALLENGE driver, Max Coates. In conjunction with the contract extension the Colchester based team are also outlining their plans to compete in the British Touring Car Championship with North Yorkshire’s Coates as their first driver.
The pairing both have shared aspirations and a BTCC project could happen as soon as 2023. Team manager, Dave Graves explained, “Before we entered the MINI CHALLENGE UK JCW class this year our intentions were always to race in the BTCC. Max shared in the same goals and having spent half a season working together I am glad that we both want to make the next step together.”
“We are planning another season with Max and a number of other drivers in the MINI’s next year, but we will also use the start of the 2022 season to assess carand licence options for the BTCC as they enter the new and exciting Hybrid Era. We are a growing team and aim to have a graduation pathway from the entry level of motorsport all the way through to the BTCC and having Max onboard with this programme is very important to us.”
“We have enjoyed working with him on both a professional and personal level. We followed his progress through the Clio Cup and first season of MINI racing, his experience has helped to develop the team from both a performance and commercial standpoint. We are now working together to build the team into a BTCC outfit potentially ready for the 2023 season.”
Coates is no stranger to the BTCC, originally racing at the Croft round of the championship in 2015 for Support Our Para’s racing in their Infiniti Q50. He has tested another two BTCC cars taking to the wheel of a Ciceley Motorsport prepared Mercedes A-Class at Silverstoneon the dawn of the 2016 season and then again with Team HARD. at the Official Goodyear Tyre Test in the summer of 2019 whilst racing for the Renault UK Clio Cup Squad.
On the news Coates said, “I am delighted to be continuing with Graves Motorsport and be able to sign a multi-year agreement. I’ve made no secret that my goal has been to race in the BTCC, since my debut at Croft in 2015 I have wanted to get back into the series. I’ve developed a lot as a driver since my first go in a BTCC car and I feel ready to make that step.”
“I’ve watched a number of friends and former rivals who I have done battle with in the BTCC’s support series achieve so much success in what is the pinnacle of British motorsport and I want to join in. I know any graduation to the series will be tough and a learning curve, but I am hungry for that.”
“In Graves Motorsport I have found a team that have the same shared goals as I do, not only to compete for the long term in the BTCC but also strive for success. In a similar way we share the same ethos, I have always raced with my family and friends close by which is the way this team operates. I have been welcomed with open arms, we have developed together and now with a firm focus and set goals, we can spend the next 18 months planning and preparing for the BTCC from both a performance and commercial perspective.”
The team will be keeping a close eye on the BTCC during the start of the 2022 season as they decide on plans for 2023 and beyond. However, they have Coates home round of the MINI CHALLENGE UK championship, Croft Circuit. this weekend as rounds 12 and 13 take place at the Yorkshire venue. Coates will be joined by over sponsor 100 guests from PrimexPlastics and other local partners as he races in front of a capacity crowd.