Luke Reade is an ambitious young driver with dreams of competing in the British Touring Car Championship. Having made his debut in Formula Ford, he switched to the Mini Challenge and is now considering starting another new chapter in his career.
“In 2013 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to compete in the last three races in the Formula Ford championship,” said Reade. “We had no budget but the opportunity came about from a prize I had won in the Henry Surtees foundation kart race, which translated into the drive. It was a massive eye opener and at the time I would have loved to pursue that route. But again budget issues stopped us in 2014.”
With costs that can easily spiral out of control, even in the junior Formula, it is not uncommon to see young talent disappear off the radar but Reade was intent on making a return to the grid and, in 2015, he did just that.
“(For) 2015-16 I was very grateful to be in a position to race in the Mini Challenge. The front wheel drive JCW Mini was a completely different animal to drive, I loved it from the start. The driving style is completely different. Easy to drive slow, hard to drive fast is probably the best way to describe it. The car was new for 2015 as was the team we ran with, any problem you could think of having during the course of the year we had. That said the amount of knowledge about how the car works and how to set it up I picked up was fantastic, It was almost worth going through it to gain that info. Which will almost certainly benefit me in years to come.”
After an impressive debut season and a trying 2016 campaign, Reade is considering all of his options for next season – including making a return to the TOCA support paddock with the Renault Clio Cup.
“Plans for 2017 are well underway, nothing is 100% until we are sitting on the grid next year! But hoping to make the move into the Renault Clio Cup on the BTCC package. I was lucky enough to have a test with Ciceley Motorsport, which was fantastic. The car was great and I had a good feeling straight away. We ended up quickest out of the various drivers who had a go, which gives me a confidence boost going into next year.”
Also taking part in the test was Max Coates, the man who came third to Ant Whorton-Eales and Mike Bushell this season, but even he could not outpace Reade. While the Clio Cup may be Reade’s preferred destination for 2017, he is still not ruling out a return to the Mini Challenge in his striking black and white JCW class entry.
“The Mini Challenge is definitely still on the cards for next year, we will have to wait and see what happens over the winter. Whatever the case, we will be up the front fighting for wins and championships. The goal one or two years down the line will be to compete in the BTCC, and I feel there is a very good chance of that. But for now I will have to let the driving do the talking next year.”