John Castle joins EXCELR8 MINI CHALLENGE Trophy programme for racing debut
John Castle has become the second driver to confirm plans to take his first steps into motorsport with EXCELR8 after joining forces with the team for a programme in the 2024 Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Trophy.
John will line up alongside fellow newcomer – and good friend – Tommy Watson as part of EXCELR8’s multi-car entry into the highly competitive Cooper category, which also includes series returnee Harvey Riby as he embarks on his second season in the class.
A long-time fan of motorsport, John was first introduced to EXCELR8 when he joined the team for a VIP Hospitality day at the circuit, where he struck up a conversation with Tommy – the CEO of BTCC Team Partner Mairon Freight UK.
Showcasing the networking opportunities available within the team, the pair went on to not only develop a relationship between their respective businesses, but also a friendship away from work that will now see them take their first steps into competition as team-mates on track.
John has already agreed a deal to purchase the car that won four times in 2023 in the hands of Nathan Edwards for what is planned to be the first step of a multi-year programme geared towards working his way up into the BTCC-supporting JCW class in the future.
John Castle said:
“I’ve followed the progress of EXCELR8 and Tom Ingram for a number of years and joined the team for a VIP Hospitality day on a race weekend. Through that, I got talking to Tommy and we developed a working relationship and have gone on to become good mates. We both love racing and when he said he fancied getting out on track, I thought why not join him!
“This is two mates going out to have some fun and for me, it’s more about the social side of things and the opportunity to do some networking and develop relationships, as I’ve never raced before. In that respect, there is no-one better to do that with than EXCELR8 as I’ve already seen first-hand how being involved with the team can open doors.
“Saying that, I don’t just want to make up the numbers and will be working with Ronan Pearson to benefit from his experience and work my way up the grid. I’m looking at this as a three-year programme with a year in the Coopers before hopefully moving into JCW Sport in year two, and then moving up to race in JCW in year three.”
Justina Williams, EXCELR8 Team Owner, said:
“It’s fantastic to welcome John into our Cooper line-up for 2024, particularly because of the way the deal has all come together from a relationship forged between him and Tommy through their separate involvement in our racing programme.
“We look forward to seeing how John progresses as the season goes on, and it promises to be an interesting battle between him and Tommy for bragging rights in their debut seasons!”