With experience in the premier USF2000 Series; of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder for IndyCar, Canadian Ryan Verra made his debut in Formula 3 Brazil at Velopark in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil for late 2014. In search of his return to racing after being sidelined with a season eye surgery, the pilot was invited to Brazil to face some tough South American opponents.
The first race took place in the rain on a wet track in Goiás, where an engine problem forced Ryan from qualifying in the first lap, which the team had to execute a complete engine change in less than 3 hours; but only in time to start from the pits. Having Dropped a lap behind the other opponents from this, Ryan kept his focus, looking to seize opportunities in the current weather conditions to make his way back up and to finish on the podium in third place.
In the second race of the weekend in Rio Grande do Sul, brought a difficult challenge for all pilots running on slick tyres in semi-wet conditions. During the race Ryan started having some mechanical problems: “Mid-race I started having problems with the front brake pressure dropping causing excessive lock up and understeer and had to pit before going back out” continued Verra, “fortunately I was able to get back in the race as several drivers couldn’t escape the track conditions, themselves which allowed me to catch up and get to the podium for the second again in the final round. I had very little time to learn the tracks and the Dallara F301 car itself in Brazil, but I was able to bring my experience from USF2000, and adapt to do well.
Returning to the country for the final round of F3 Brazil held in Goiânia, Ryan closed the season to flourish his debut adding another important podium finish: “Coming from a rookie season in USF2000, it had been almost a year off the track and jumping into an F3 car was a big jump; but I was determined to make a mark that allowed me to do much better than I expected.
For next season, Verra is already entertaining offers to drive in F3 Brazil piloting the advanced Dallara F309 chassis “I’m looking over proposals to run in category A next year, and as I have more experience with a sequential gearbox believe I can be fast in this car. The Dallara F301 is a very fast car, but my experience with the H-Pattern gear box is very limited in my career.”
The pilot is now preparing for testing in Brazil with the Dallara F309 for the 2015 season. Looking ahead, Ryan prefers to set his goals for the future towards the next race; rather than the long term : “In the future anything can happen, I never imagined I would be running in Brazil for 2014. But I know I want and I’m taking the steps and challenges I need to get there; ultimately I have my end game, either I’ll get there or die trying.
Ryan Verra was the first Canadian to climb on the podium in Brazil since the victory of Jacques Villeneuve for Williams in 1997. Villeneuve a Canadian Formula 1 Champion, showed his competitiveness in the foreign country of Brazil making history that day for Canada.
Ryan Verra´s sponsors: Crooks & Castles, Brixton Forged, I Model Management, Cancer Research Society and Dolly.