Debutant Ryder reflecting on a mixed start to Ginetta G5 Challenge 2019 campaign
PUBLISHED: 14:30 02 July 2019
Lewis Ryder has been able to reflect on a mixed start to his debut season in the competitive Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
A brake failure in his first test session at the first meeting at Oulton Park was the worst possible start, destroying the rear of the car before it had turned a wheel in a race.
And it left a huge job for the family-run team to repair in time for the races but Ryder said: "The team did an incredible job and we were able to get the car out for the final two races of the weekend, where we achieved a top 15 finish out of 32 cars."
Thruxton hosted round two, supporting the prestigious British Touring Car Championship, and a fantastic qualifying landed Ryder in the top 10, under half a second off pole position.
The first race of the weekend also yielded his first top-10 finish, but Ryder experienced car issues in the second race, televised live on ITV4, and slipped down the order to finish 15th.
He added: "An incredible weekend, I'm so happy with the pace I showed, and we are really not far from the front of the grid. Most of these guys have been doing it for years, so to be so close with so little experience is really exciting."
Ryder had another top-10 in qualifying at the next round at Silverstone, but suffered some bad luck as he failed to finish both races due to mechanical issues.
"Silverstone was a real low point following on from the highs of Thruxton, but that's racing," he said.
"I've got plenty of positives to take away, as my pace was good but we were just hit with some bad luck."
The first race of the round four weekend at Donington Park yielded a 12th-place finish, but Ryder failed to finish the second race after being taken out by another car whilst running in the top 10.
It meant he started the third race from the back of the 32-car grid, but he managed to fight his way up the pack to finish 16th in a safety car-shortened race and added: "We are definitely due some luck soon! Hopefully we can show our pace for the remainder of the season and stay out of trouble, as I think some good results are in store.
"There is a lot of pit-lane gossip that this is one of the most competitive grids in the UK at the moment, so to be challenging for those top 10s and maybe even further up the grid is a great achievement for a family-run team."
Ryder misses the next round at Zandvoort in Holland due to a lack of budget, but will be back in action at Snetterton on the first weekend of August, supporting the British Touring Cars, with coverage live on ITV4.
He added: "Huge thanks to my sponsors Rocket Media UK, On-Pole Consultancy and Backwell Motors for making this all possible. We are always looking for more partners to join us on our journey up the motorsport ladder."