About three months ago, in the middle of May, sixteen-year-old Victoria, BC, resident Ryan Floer competed in his first car race during an event at Mosport International Raceway, north-east of Toronto, Ontario. Today, the former kart racer leads...
About three months ago, in the middle of May, sixteen-year-old Victoria, BC, resident Ryan Floer competed in his first car race during an event at Mosport International Raceway, north-east of Toronto, Ontario. Today, the former kart racer leads the CASC-OR (Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs - Ontario Region) Formula 1600 Championship as the series heads into its final double-header weekend of racing.
In his first race, Ryan finished second, beaten only by a racer with years of car racing experience. The next day, in race number two, Ryan won. Seven races have been held since then and he has scored two more wins, and added four second-place finishes. His other result was a ninth, a finish that Ryan says should have been a second, but for a last-lap mistake of his own making.
"I was chasing the leader and decided to go for the win. I was really concerned about the cars touching and kept a close eye on his rear wheel... I didn't want to cause a crash. Unfortunately, I distracted myself for a moment and messed up. I spun and wound up ninth. I hope that mistake doesn't end up costing me the championship. I have the points lead going into the last weekend so, really, it's just up to me to keep doing what I've been doing."
Watching from the sidelines, it would be easy to say that racing comes easy to Ryan. Like they say, "The kid is good!" However, while some sort of inborn knack is part of the equation, a lot of hard work goes into making it look easy. In his karting days, which began in 1996, Ryan participated in dozens of events every year, sometimes traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to do so. He's attended schools to be a better racer and to learn how to present himself to the media and racing fans. He also holds two part-time jobs to help pay for some of the expenses of racing.
By virtue of effort alone, Ryan is already a champion.
This weekend, Ryan's season will end where it began, at Mosport. One of his biggest challenges will be to keep the distractions of the championship out of his head.
"Before the season began, I would have said I'd be happy to get a couple of podium (top three) finishes and now here I am leading the series. It's tough not to think about winning it all, but if I just approach these races like all the others, I'll be okay."
Those interested in following Ryan's racing endeavours may wish to visit his web-site at biznet.maximizer.com/ryanrace/index.html or link to the site via www.mark-jackson.com.