MAX COATES will head into his home round of the Renault UK Clio Cup in the top two in the championship table after a successful weekend at Oulton Park.

Coates finished on the podium in both rounds at Oulton, leaving him in second spot overall ahead of the next round at Croft Circuit on the weekend of June 23-24.

Scorton-based Coates has enjoyed some notable successes at Croft in the past, and will be hoping to claim the championship lead in front of a packed home crowd, with the Renault UK Clio Cup providing one of the main support slots to the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship.

A decent qualifying performance at Oulton left Coates in fourth position on the grid for the first race of the weekend and in second spot for race two.

The Harron Homes-sponsored driver slotted into third position on the opening lap of race one, but despite racing on the tail of rival Paul Rivett for the majority of the encounter, he was unable to find a big enough gap to force his way through.

His pace was impressive throughout the race, but he was forced to sit tight and accept a third-place finish that left him at the heart of the championship battle.

Having roared from the grid in the opening race, Coates repeated the feat in race two, making an early burst around the outside the claim the lead.

He was forced to repel considerable pressure from behind him, but held on to the lead from lights to flag to claim his second race win of the season.

The North Yorkshire driver is now just four points adrift of championship leader James Dorlin, and will seek to turn the tables at Croft.

Coates said: “I’m so happy to get back on the top step of the podium. It was a really important win as we had to stop James Dorlin’s five-win streak becoming six.

“Now, the momentum lies with me and we’re heading to my favourite event of the season. I’m sure we will have lots of sponsors, friends, family and fans at the track in two weeks’ time and I can’t wait to try and replicate the second race this weekend.”

The Croft meeting marks the mid-season of the season, with further rounds to come at Snetterton, Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.