When your father is a rally driver, you are 4 years old and have your own set of overalls with a “Team Manager” label, you might be forgiven for harbouring a desire to become a rally driver yourself one day.
Well that was Ryan Lloyd’s start to life and he continues to aspire to be a rally driver today. Ryan is a PDI Technician at Greenhous Nissan in Shrewsbury and his father was a successful driver in the British Trial & Rally Driver Association (BTRDA) Championship winning his class, rallying until 2002. Ryan bought himself an old mini with a view to restoring it to use a rally car, but it proved to be too rusty to persevere with.
Three years ago he bought a Citroen Saxo and with the help of his father’s former navigator, James Wardle, he started to enter road rallying events. His first competition road rally started at Sundorne –the “Romerlite” Road Rally and they came second in the beginner’s class. All has not been smooth driving though as the car ended up in a ditch in Aberystwyth and then Ryan managed to break the rear axle beam.
Ryan is a community man and he has made several contacts who are all bitten by the rallying, volunteering their help in the preparation and maintenance of the vehicle. Ian Sadler helped to repair the stricken Saxo and they have competed in the Welshpool, Leek and Nutsford areas progressing up the rankings to a point where Ryan has now applied for a full stage Rally National B Stage Competition Licence through the Motor Sports Association. He will have to sit an examination at the Phil Price Racing School, based at Knighton in Powys, and show his practical skills on a gravel course.
The car was stripped down and the rebuilt has started to prepare the car for racing in a few weeks time.A new roll-cage had to be built to FIA standards, the 16 valve 1600 cc engine has been stripped down and will produce 150bhp.There is just some paint spraying to be done and the application of stickers.
Ryan is delighted that several local businesses have come on board. He says: “It is very important to me that this is seen to be a community effort.We have David Ecclestone using GPS tracking technology which will help monitor our position when we are rallying.Also James Fisher from Custom-Automotive in Shrewsbury is helping with the bodywork which will get dented from time to time over rough terrain. To have these people joining the team means our dream will become a reality.We will be rallying in England, Scotland and Wales later this year.
“Next year we will target the Heart of England Rally Championship. This year will be spent gaining experience and I am delighted to have James Wardle as my navigator.He has such a wealth of knowledge of rallying, and our programme has rekindled my Dad’s interest in the sport again.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to all of the local community who are helping me to achieve my ambition in rallying.”