A double win for Max Coates completed an almost perfect weekend for the DAT Racing run Cupra TCR DSG. The Clio Cup racer survived the rain and winds of Donington Park, claiming honours for the second time on Sunday in the Dunlop Touring Car Trophy / TCR UK.
Polesitter Coates was unable to convert his golden position, losing out to Lewis Kent at the first corner. He remained on Kent’s coattails in the opening stages as the top two quickly broke away from the battle in third.
Kent’s first mistake came on the fourth lap, running wide at the final corner and allowing Coates to challenge into the Craner curves. The Essex & Kent Motorsport driver initially held him off, though a second mistake into the Fogarty Esses saw him slide across the kerbs, breaking his left rear suspension. After ‘crabbing’ into the Melbourne hairpin, the Hyundai i30 N TCR limped back to the pits, retiring early.
This allowed Coates free air with Henry Neal in the Team Dynamics Honda taking over as the
chaser for the second half. Neal set the Sunoco Fastest Lap in the Honda Civic Type R, earning the two points that came with it, but it would not be enough to displace the DAT Racing star, taking his second win of the weekend.
James Turkington would come out on top in the battle for third after a race long battle between himself, Mark Wakefield and Darrelle Wilson, who had been as high as third, after starting on the back row. Wakefield was carrying weight after his podium in the opening race, but was allowed slight respite in the closing stages as James Turkington made the dive on Darrelle Wilson’s Opel Astra TCR. Now released, Turkington was far from finished, fighting his way past Wakefield with only two minutes left to run to seal the final podium place.
Nick Halstead’s race was hampered in the early stages, after running into the gravel at Old Hairpin on the opening lap, the Honda TCR was unable to regain the ground. Rounding out the top eight was the Audi ‘Sherman’ A4 driven by Alex Day, taking the flag after missing the start of race one.
The result sees Turkington now lead the overall standings on 144 points, with Neal second overall on 120. The double win from Coates leaps him into third overall having wracked up 88 points due to his two wins. Carl Swift is the top TCR UK runner in fourth, on 82.
“Only the fastest lap and pole to go, I think we gave it a fair old go. I’d hope we could have had more of a race with Lewis Kent, but sadly it wasn’t to be. I was gutted to see him go out, as it would have been nice to have had a fight,” said race winner Coates.
“While unconfirmed at the moment, the Yorkshire racer hopes to return next round; “I’d certainly like to be [back]. We’ll have to have a chat with Guy [Colclough] and Primex, who continue to support me in my racing career. Without them, this weekend wouldn’t happen.”
He was joined on the podium by relations of Touring Car legends, Henry Neal and James Turkington (who finished the top TCR UK runner). Neal commented on the unique podium, saying;
“I’ve raced with James for a fair few years, he’s really fun to race a good clean racer. I’m stoked for him, he’s done really great this weekend as well.”