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NGK-sponsored Coates finishes strongly in 2020 MINI CHALLENGE

NGK-sponsored racing driver Max Coates finished the 2020 MINI CHALLENGE UK season by taking a maiden pole position and securing strong top five race results.

Fourth and fifth places in the two weekend races at Brands Hatch secured sixth place for the Yorkshireman in the overall championship.

The Elite Motorsport team driver was on pole in the first wet race of the season but didn’t make the best start when a huge slide nearly put him into the gravel, falling back to sixth place on the opening lap but then battling back through to fourth after a third tour of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. 

Coates then began to apply pressure on the podium positions but couldn’t find a way through. His pace fell as the race progressed and he became under pressure from behind, eventually losing a position back to fifth where he remained to the chequered flag.

Race two was shown live on ITV4 as part of the BTCC programme when Coates started sixth on the grid but immediately set about gaining positions from the start. Over the first two laps he battled with other drivers and sat in fifth place as the race entered a lengthy safety car period. With just a lap to go after the safety car, he battled for the final podium spot but finished in fourth position.

He said: “It was great to take our first pole position of the season at Brands Hatch and it felt like we were going to end on a real high. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way in race one and that was all my own doing. I’m pleased with our solid results this weekend and we round out the championship sixth overall. It’s been a pleasure to be part of the Elite Motorsport team this year and I look forward to developing my relationship with them.”

Coates – who thanked NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd and his other sponsors for their support this season – said he would now consider his options for the 2021 race season.

 NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd Marketing Manager Mark Hallam said: “Max has performed very creditably this season and has provided lots of thrills for all our customers who are motorsport fans. I’m sure they will be looking forward to following him on the track next year.”


Notes to Editors


Worldwide: NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment customers across the globe. For the Aftermarket, its product portfolio comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics the company offers oxygen sensors (including NOx sensors), exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS), mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute/boost pressure (MAP) sensors as well as engine speed and position sensors. With around 16,000 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.5 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales (including its EU, UK, France and Eurasia subsidiaries) represent 26.1% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants and four Technical Centres.


Aftermarket EMEA: NGK SPARK PLUG has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK SPARK PLUG’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region the company has ten group companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.


For further information contact:

Andy Hurst

Hurst Media Services

Tel: +44 (0)1354 657253; Mobile: 0773 694 7803