Ahead of the 2020 circuit season, we at Collierhousehold Motorsport joined on as a sponsor/media partner to young driver Ryan Faulconbridge, to provide photography and media services, as he makes his debut in the Mini Challenge. In recent seasons Ryan raced a Fiesta in the BRSCC Fiesta Championship where we have supported him before, but now Ryan had stepped up the racing ladder after signing with LUX Motorsport, as one of their four drivers for a full season in the JCW category. It was going to be an exciting year for all the teams and drivers involved in the Mini Challenge for 2020, as it became one of the “Support Series” to the British Touring Cars (BTCC) on the TOCA package, racing at eight rounds, across the UK.
The 2020 Mini Challenge season was due to get underway on the weekend of the 28th and 29th March at Donington Park at the opening round for the BTCC, however the unfortunate and tragic outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19 put all Motorsport on hold, effectively meaning racing is currently cancelled/postponed until 1 July 2020. Whilst all racing activity is on hold, we caught up with Ryan to provide you fans a bit of an insight into who Ryan is, by discussing a little bit about his career, his expectations for the new season and his goals for the future.
- First things first Ryan, where did your interest in Motorsport come from and how did you start racing?
“My motorsport interest started quite young watching British Truck Racing at Donington Park, back when they use to finish work on a Friday and come straight to the track to race at the weekend. Now a days they are purpose built racing machines! I’ve always been a fan of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) too due to the close nature of racing along with the thrills and spills that comes with the championship.”
- Looking back, it was 2015 which was your first year in the BRSCC Ford Fiesta Championship, so what made you decide to race saloons rather than Single Seaters?
“I have always believed that the motorsport pathway has a lot more options via the saloon car route, with a large amount of different championships and varying vehicles that you can choice between. I also don’t like the idea of getting wet when racing in the rain haha! Its bad enough in a car at times with visibility.”
- Ryan, if you had to reflect back on your years racing in the BRSCC Ford Fiesta Championship, what would you determine as your best moments and on a separate note, best race?
“The best moments are always when you win races, it makes all the time and effort you and the team put in worth it. Especially winning at iconic tracks such as Brands Hatch & Snetterton! The best race had to come at Rockingham, when I qualified on pole and took a light-to-flag victory. It was also my first ever win which made it even more special!”
- Moving up the Saloon Ladder into the MINI Challenge JCW for 2020, what are your expectations of the season following early tests of the new car and with a new team?
“It’s certainly going to be a huge challenge, going into a competitive one-make championship with such a high calibre of drivers. The car is an absolute beast but get fun to drive with the sequential box and quaife diff! Testing has gone well so far and I’m now really starting to understand how it reacts in different situations and certainly improving my driving ability too. LUX Motorsport have also been a great help as they already have a fantastic understanding of the car. I hope to push for the Rookie Honours this year but its we’ll be taking it round by round and assess after each round.”
- As the MINI Challenge JCW joins the TOCA package for 2020, are you looking at the BTCC for the future or do you have other goals in mind?
“Yes of course, I don’t know many people that wouldn’t! The MINI JCW is certainly know around the paddock with most drivers as being a ‘Mini Touring Car’ due to the nature of the controls and car handling all very similar to a BTCC car, albeit just on a smaller scale. It the natural steppingstone to get in the BTCC paddock and one I’m aiming for. We have a three-year plan for the JCW then take it from there.”
We thank Ryan for taking the time to speak with us and provide background into his Motorsport beginnings and what lies ahead in 2020 and beyond.
Hopefully everyone stays safe in these unfortunate circumstances and racing resumes in the coming months. When it does, make sure to keep up to date with Ryan’s progress in the Mini Challenge by either following us with the photography, blogs and posts on social media or visit the Links below for content from Ryan and the team:
Written and Produced by Chris Collier and Cheryl Closs