The Hankook Dubai 24 hour race is recognised as the start of the motorsport season and is a challenge for car, team and driver.
The team with which Coates has driven to three Renault UK Clio Cup victories took two Renault Clio’s to the Middle East sporting fuel tank, braking and spot light endurance racing upgrades. Heading the multi-national driver line up in car 164 the North Yorkshire based driver claimed 2nd on the grid in the A2 class, just ahead of the sister car. The A2 class is designed for smaller engine touring cars. With 96 cars on the entry list in total the grid was split into GT (faster sports cars) and TCE (touring type cars), in which Ciceley was racing against another 34 teams.
At the start the 164 car held 2nd place in A2, with only the other Ciceley Motorsport Renault Clio ahead. An early alternator belt failure put the car back to third place before a crash with another driver at around mid-race distance gave the mechanics their opportunity to shine. An hour and a half later they had fixed the damage and had the car back on track, but hopes of a race win were slipping away. The 162 Ciceley Motorsport Clio and 171 Peugeot of Danish team Johnson Consulting ran with little mechanical issues and as a result Max and his team took the final podium spot.
Max’s team mates in car 162 took the win, finishing 10th in the TCE class and 50th in the overall results, a staggering achievement.
Max said “We’d have liked to come away with a 1-2 for the team but really, just to finish this race is an achievement. We climbed over 25 spots to 70th overall and were 21st out of 36 TCE cars which, along with the A2 podium is a great result. I have loved the experience and would definitely like to do more of this kind of racing in the future alongside my sprint racing commitments.”
Coates is hoping to announce his 2018 racing campaign shortly and is working closely with his sponsors, Harron Homes, Clements, Primex Plastics, PLASgran Recyclingand JT Atkinson Builders Merchants.