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Max has a challenging time at Donington Park

Yorkshire’s Max Coates – who is sponsored by ignition and sensor specialist NGK – suffered mixed fortunes at Donington Park for the start of the 2022 MINI Challenge UK season.

Supporting the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the third season, the series featured a twenty-eight car grid at the East Midlands race circuit with the first race seeing Coates, who started in seventh place, having to take avoiding action off the line as the car directly in front stalled and then being tagged into a huge slide with the subsequent trip through the gravel causing a puncture. After pitting to change a tyre he finished in 24th place.

That would become his starting position for the weekend’s second race, but he gained six places on lap one and then continued to climb the order to tenth, overtaking nearly every lap. Whilst he was involved in the battle for seventh position, the race ended a lap early to recover a stricken car in a dangerous position, unfortunately causing Coates to lose a place on lap countback to the last time all the cars crossed the start and finish line.

Starting eleventh for the final race of the weekend Coates again made places on the first lap, up to ninth. There was an eight-car train for the lead of the race, all following nose to tail until a late safety car bunched the pack up again. Whilst Coates lost out on the restart, he regained ground to finish the final race of the weekend in eighth position.

Afterwards Coates said: “It’s been a mixed weekend of what ifs and maybes, but we have good speed in the car and myself which bodes well for the next round. The team have put a in a lot of effort going into the weekend with a number of new updates to the car this year as well as taking on a big expansion, so credit to them and as ever my loyal partners who enable me to continue racing in 2022. I look forward to repaying them with some trophies soon.”

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was an incident packed start to the MINI CHALLENGE series for Max but I’m sure he will be battling it out near the front when the series heads to next round at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent on May 13-15 which is one of his favourite circuits.”

Live timing from the event can be found at whilst Max’s two races on Sunday, May 15 (12.10pm & 4.40pm) can be watched live on ITV4.

For more information about NGK and its products and services, please visit the website at   


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 16,400 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.7 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales represent 32% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 60 group companies, 35 production plants, five Technical Centres and three Venture Labs.


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 six regional companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.


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For further information please contact:

Annika Lustig, Specialist PR & Communications, Aftermarket EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH
Harkortstr. 41, 40880 Ratingen, Germany, AG Duesseldorf HRB 43118
Tel: +49 (0)21 02 974 152     E-mail:


UK & Ireland - For further information contact:

Andy Hurst

Hurst Media Services

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