Bridle brothers passion for racing
Bridle brothers passion for racing

In recent weeks we have been speaking with up and coming racing talent and today we catch-up with the Bridle brothers.

Speaking to Kent Sports News about how their racing interest and careers came about, Chris said: “From a young age, my brother and I can always remember having a keen interest in motorsport.

“We spent many Sundays in front of the telly watching Formula One and where possible going to see the action live at our local circuit, Brands Hatch. The passion for racing really sparked when we attended a karting party in the soaking wet at Buckmore Park at the age of 8, after that day (and lots of spinning) we were hooked.

“After this we begged my parents to take us racing, and after some persuasion, they agreed. We started off in the Buckmore Junior training program which enabled us to join their “Junior Rookie Series”.

“In this Championship you race at Buckmore Park once a month and all the equipment is supplied, this makes it a very cost-effective start in motorsport. After competing in the novice Rookie Series, we then progressed onto the Junior Club. We raced in the Junior Club Championship for two seasons before we progressed into owner driver karting.

“We think the most important thing about Junior Club is to just enjoy the racing, at this point for us we didn’t have any aspirations to progress our racing any further, we just really enjoyed karting.

“The transition into owner-driver karting started when we met Paul Janes from Ambition Motorsport at the annual Buckmore Park Star Pupil event, he was a judge at the event and after a few discussions with Paul, we organised a test day at Bayford Meadows. After a successful test day, we started our first year of owner driver karting.

“In our first year of owner-driver karting we achieved some good results with a few podiums and the odd win but mostly, we did a lot of learning. We both finished in the top 10 of the Championship and we concluded from that first year of owner-driver karting was that if we could keep it on the black stuff, we could be pretty good!

“Going into our second year of karting we started to win more regularly, finishing in the top 3 of multiple local championships and having good consistent results.

“At the age of 15, we made a big step into seniors and the ultra-competitive Senior X30 Championships. It was a massive leap from competing in Regional Championships racing against 20 of your mates to competing in National Championships with 90 drivers representing the best from Europe, Asia and even America.

“The racing was so close with usually only 8 tenths covering 1st to 90th on the grid, it was incredibly competitive. In those years racing as a senior, we managed to win a few championships and also collect race wins and podium finishes.

“When we look back, those years of racing seniors were crucial to our progression, having 30 BHP doesn’t sound like much but when the kart only weighs 100kg and revs to 18,000 Rpm, they were extremely quick.

“During the 2016 karting season, we ended up making contact with Jay Shepherd (Grade S ARDS Instructor and former British GT and Britcar Winner) who was setting up an academy for drivers looking to move from karting into endurance car racing. We spent a winter testing and with coaching from Jay, my brother and I completed our ARD’S test at Donington Park, having had no previous experience in a road car.

“The challenge was then choosing what car series to compete in as having two of us makes it very difficult. We looked into racing Ginettas with a car each, which sounds like a good idea until you dig into the costs involved of running two cars, unfortunately, that wasn’t possible on the budget we had.

“Instead, we looked into team endurance racing which would allow us to share a car, that’s when we stumbled across the FunCup.”

“At a glance they may not carry the same sleek and striking look that cars from GT racing have, but let me assure you, with rear wheel drive, no driving assists, 140bhp and a sequential gearbox in an 800kg body, they are proper race cars and a challenge to drive.

“There are usually grids of 35 cars and racing takes place at all the UK circuits. It’s a fantastic series and has a great mixture of new drivers and professionals.

“We completed a winter testing program and in my first season of FunCup we had a few top 10 finishes and challenged at the front of the field on a few occasions to finish 7th in the Championship out of 40. We were also awarded the highest place rookie award.

“Into our second season, we really found our feet and were on the pace instantly, with two podiums at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, as well as a top 5 finish in Zandvoort (Holland) which meant that we finished the season in 6th overall out of 40.

“Then last season, my brother and I raced again in the Funcup but unfortunately, didn’t have the same results due to mechanical gremlins throughout the season with only a few top 5 results.  

“2020 should have seen us compete in the Dutch Supercar Challenge in a Praga R1T. This Championship is for GT and Prototype cars with 1 Hour Endurance events held across Europe.

“Due to current circumstances it now looks like this will not happen however, and we will have to wait until 2021. We have had a fantastic time so far within motorsport with amazing opportunities to drive some fantastic machinery from Classis f1 cars to awesome road cars!!

“Finally, away from racing we both work within motorsport, myself working for Buckmore Park karting in Marketing and also working as a driver coach and instructor for kart and car teams. Ed, my brother, works for Brands Hatch as an instructor and also works for a kart team coaching.”