RAF racers’ skills tested to the Max

The RAF Motorsports Team take part in a test day on the track at Croft Circuit, Darlington, on May 20. During the day, professional race driver, Max Coates gives members of the team tuition while driving around the track helping cut seconds off their lap times the race day. 

Images by SAC Mark Parkinson.
The RAF Motorsports Team take part in a test day on the track at Croft Circuit, Darlington, on May 20. During the day, professional race driver, Max Coates gives members of the team tuition while driving around the track helping cut seconds off their lap times the race day. Images by SAC Mark Parkinson.

Torrential early morning showers could not dampen spirits as RAF racers sped to first place in the Armed Forces Race Challenge at Croft race circuit.

The event was the opportunity for four-wheeled motor racers from across the Armed Forces to put their driving skills to the test in a competition designed to award consistency during races, rather than the performance of individual cars.

For many of the team members, the race was the culmination of some intensive preparation which included classroom and track sessions with Max Coates, a local racing car driver and qualified instructor.

Max, 22, who is competing in the Renault UK Clio Cup, said: “I was really impressed with some of the guys. The military are very responsive to what you tell them. I have been helping them improve on things that might seem quite minor at first – such as how they hold the steering wheel – and they seem pleased with how much they have been improving.”

Sgt Chris Slator, who is membership secretary for the RAF Motorsports Association and arranges the Armed Forces Race Challenge, said: “Some of the guys have never driven at Croft before, so Max was been able to share his familiarity with the track. He made a huge difference to their test day by sitting in with them and giving them tips as they went around the track.”

The preparation paid off for the RAF team, who took three out of the top five slots on the consistency table at Croft. The next leg will be at Snetterton, Norfolk on June 26.