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Max wins in MINI CHALLENGE at Brands Hatch

Racing driver Max Coates – who is sponsored by ignition and sensor specialist NGK – grabbed his first win of the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE season in a dramatic final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

In his Primex Plastics sponsored car, Yorkshireman Max Coates was the fastest driver in damp and wet conditions in Sunday’s two races as the hot hatch race series supported the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at the Kent venue.

On Saturday Coates qualified his JiC Transport backed car in seventh position, just over half a second from pole, and after a battle with several cars in the early stages the Graves Motorsport driver was running in sixth position mid-race but was overtaken in the latter laps and finished seventh.

Sunday’s two races looked as though they would be held in wet conditions, but the rain stopped as the cars went to the grid for the first race and Coates relished the opportunity to gain three places on the first lap and gained a podium finish and also set the race’s fastest lap.

The final race of the weekend was held in full wet conditions and starting from second on the grid Coates immediately pounced on the race leader and gained the lead twice throughout the first lap. By the end of the second lap, he was nearly two seconds clear at the front of the race. Despite two safety car periods Coates soaked up the pressure and was over a second a lap faster than his nearest rival when the race restarted. The race finished when another driver crashed which handed Coates a convincing win.

Coates said: “The two races on Sunday have been so much fun, I felt fast all the time and really enjoyed the damp and wet conditions. The team have found a great wet setting which undoubtedly helped me today and to be able to have pace in hand in race three was quite a surprise, but one I enjoyed.”

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “Congratulations go to Max who pulled off a tremendously gritty win at Brands Hatch and will continue to press hard throughout the rest of what will undoubtedly continue to be a very exciting series.”

Coates will next be in action at Oulton Park on June 11th and 12th. Live timing from the event will be available via whilst Max’s Sunday race will be televised live on ITV4 at 2.10pm.

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