NORTH Yorkshire racer Max Coates has outlined plans to make the step up to the elite of motor sport racing by 2023 after signing a multi-year deal with Graves Motorsport. 

Coates is currently signed with Graves Motorsport as he currently competes in the 2021 MINI Challenge but has held an ambition for a number of years to race in the British Touring Car Championship.

Coates career has seen him race in the Clio Cup Challenge as well as the MINI Challenge but racing in the elite of British Motorsport would fulfill a lifelong dream for the 27-year-old. 

Coates said: “I’ve been really happy and really impressed with what I’ve had from Graves Motorsport this year.

“They are a great bunch of people, very much a family team and they share the same goals and aspirations that I have to get to British Touring Cars.

“What were announcing is that I’m staying with the team for the next couple of years so this is the start of a new multi-year deal with the team and during that time were going to move to British Touring cars.

“We don’t know quite when that will be yet. It depends on availability of licenses to actually enter the Championship and cars and such like.

“It’s a case of us setting out our intentions now for what we aim to do and this is very much the start of the plans to go to British Touring cars.

“As you know well, it’s been something I’ve been aiming at for quite a long time now. Since I last raced at Croft in 2015 in the British Touring cars.

“It’s the culmination of probably five or six years of trying to achieve this but it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s something that we can now gather the momentum towards something happening hopefully in 2023 or some time soon thereafter.”

Team manager, Dave Graves explained: “Before we entered the MINI CHALLENGE UK JCW class this year our intentions were always to race in the BTCC.

"Max shared in the same goals and having spent half a season working together I am glad that we both want to make the next step together.

“We are planning another season with Max and a number of other drivers in the MINI’s next year, but we will also use the start of the 2022 season to assess carand licence options for the BTCC as they enter the new and exciting Hybrid Era.

"We are a growing team and aim to have a graduation pathway from the entry level of motorsport all the way through to the BTCC and having Max onboard with this programme is very important to us.

“We have enjoyed working with him on both a professional and personal level. We followed his progress through the Clio Cup and first season of MINI racing, his experience has helped to develop the team from both a performance and commercial standpoint. We are now working together to build the team into a BTCC outfit potentially ready for the 2023 season.”

Coates is in action this weekend at his local race track at Croft in the MINI Challenge with the first race getting underway later this afternoon.