NORTH Yorkshire racecar driver Max Coates has declared that ‘everything is coming together’ ahead of another MINI Challenge Championship campaign where hopes gaining the title get off to the perfect start tomorrow.

Coates, who is harbouring hopes of making the jump up to the British Touring Car Circuit, will be racing at Donnington Park for the first race of the calendar today. The qualifying race takes place later this morning before the first race of the weekend later this afternoon.

That’s followed up by another two races tomorrow where Coates will be looking to clock up as many points as possible to kick start his push for the title.

Coates has already been around the track as part of testing days on Thursday where he got the chance to feel out his car for the season.

“We were 9th and 8th in the two sessions which is really where we want to be but I can see where the time is to the front” said the 28-year-old.

“I’m not overly worried about it to be honest because we were poll here last year and I’ve not lost the ability to drive around Donnington so it will all come good on Saturday morning.”

The performance in testing has prompted Coates to make some final adjustments to gain those fine margins ahead of a crunch weekend of racing. While some of the changes have been mandatory, Coates explained that he is confident of how it will all look come raceday.  

He continued: “Everything is coming together. There are just a few final touches so the cars across the board in the MINI Challenge Championship this year have had a new front and rear end update. So that’s on the front and rear bumpers, side skirts and pretty much front wings so there is a little bit of an updating look.

“We didn’t really know how they were going to be until they got here so livery wise, it’s all had to be updated on the fly so we’re just kind of going from through that at the moment. We’re going to add some vinyl so that we can make it look cool.”

Coates is full of ambition as he aims to climb to the very top of British Tour racing and podium finishes is where he feels he belongs. Last season, he fell short of that in the MINI Challenge by finishing fifth in the standings.

However, the end result was heavily impacted by the first round of racing at Snetterton where he got off to an awful start. Race 1 saw him crash with Jason Lockwood leaving him with no points to be scored before mechanical failures saw him finish well down the pecking order in races two and three leaving him with an uphill battle to reach the title for the remainder of the campaign.

“The aim is to win the Championship. It is this year, it was last year and it was the year before that.” Coates added.

“From that point of view, we didn’t achieve our target of what we wanted to do so that is disappointing but I think understanding why and putting changes to that is what makes it better the next year.”

This time around, the importance of a more favourable opening to the season is at the forefront of his mind as he continued: “All being well, I’ve put a few changes in and we can start the season strongly. That was definitely part of our let down last year. The first round was just a complete disaster so I’m hoping this weekend isn’t that at all and I can take away three good points scoring finishes . Hopefully one or a few of them are race wins.”