September 14, 2022
Max Coates is one of the most popular, talented, and respected drivers in circuit racing. We recently had a chat with him about why he's Carbon Positive and what the future holds.
In 2022 Max joined Carbon Positive Motorsport as our first brand ambassador in circuit racing, as part of a long-term partnership with him and Graves Motorsport for the years ahead.
CPM: Max, it is a pleasure to have you speak with us for our ambassador feature. You have been a fantastic and enthusiastic ambassador for us in our first year – what makes you so Positive About Motorsport and want to offset your event-based carbon emissions?
MC: Thank you. It’s two-fold, the people and memories that motorsport create and the hard close races that are just so much fun. I want that to continue for me and generations to come, so partnering with Carbon Positive Motorsport ensures I am having a constructive impact towards the sport's future.
CPM: You are highly regarded in the sport, known for your commitment to your sponsors, your dedication to everything you do, and your love for motorsport – what keeps you so motivated?
MC – The winning feeling, it’s addictive. It doesn’t have to be a win, although that is the best, but a new personal best, new achievement with someone I am coaching, they are all little wins on the way to the big one you are really striving for.
CPM: This season has brought many challenges to you – especially with two retirements due to mechanical issues in your last two races, how do you recover from such a setback and focus on the next event?
MC: It’s been a frustrating year, as the Knockhill retirement in particular took us out of the title fight. That’s not an easy thing to recover from and I probably haven’t really. When it means so much to you it’s something that doesn’t just go away and I’ve had a month of near results that have been suddenly halted. Racing in the Focus Cup and having a race win was really good for me mentally, I feel like I’ve got the monkey off my back. Hopefully it’s just a momentary blip and there are some good times to come before the end of the season.
CPM: You have been competing this year in a variety of cars – how do they compare, and is there one you enjoy the most, and a dream car you really want to drive?
MC: My main competition this year has been in the MINI CHALLENGE UK in a MINI F56 JCW which is has a lot of low-end power. There are lots of set-up options and the biggest difficulty is in managing that with the tyre. Because we are often saving the best tyres for Qualifying and the races, it’s hard to get the driving and car right on the pre-event tests.
The Britcar Endurance Championship has been really fun, racing alongside Rhys Lloyd in the Opel Astra and often running my Clio Cup car alongside driving duties. The car is a bit quicker, but more stable and the bigger challenge there comes from getting all aspects of the team and drivers working well over a race distance. Everything has to be perfect, starts, pit-stops, the car, both drivers, it’s good fun.
CPM: One thing you often read in your social media that we very admire, is your support and encouragement you give to your Graves Motorsport teammates – what advice would you give to someone early in their career wanting to drive competitively on a circuit series?
MC: I’ve had a lot of support from other people and it’s good to return it. Selfishly, you get the same ‘buzz’ with their success. Practice makes you better if you do it, do it right. If you can get some coaching, do, it speeds the process up massively.
CPM: Looking forward to next season the ambition is to return to BTCC racing – how do you view the new regulations, and the cars we are seeing this year?
MC: I’m looking forward to getting involved, I think the racing looks exciting with the new Hybrid system and I like the idea that the car is always the same to drive in a corner (when you have added weight it’s just not as good), you just have more straight line with the Hybrid. There does seem to have been teething problems which is part of why we wanted to wait a year to get involved.
You can follow Max via:
I’d like to thank my partners who help me to continue striving for my goals, it’s really appreciated, they are, Primex Plastics Ltd, JiC Transport, BOSS Fabrication, NGK Spark Plugs, RGPS, Teesside Karting, CMB Artworks, Gala Performance, CTL Dental, Virtual Reality Racing Club, Coates Garage, High Row Marketing, Wheel Robot, Liqui Moly, LM Performance and obviously, Carbon Positive Motorsport.
It only costs a little to make a big difference for the sport, so whether you're a competitor or spectator, why not join with us to help make motorsport sustainable.
To become Carbon Positive yourself, visit our website www.carbonpositivemotorsport.com