(September 1st, 2014) It’s been about 8 months since Canadian race car driver, Ryan Verra, last entered a race. The former Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Championship driver claimed two victories, multiple podiums and finished second in the National Championship during his time with the series. Then, he took some time off. Not necessarily on purpose. Ryan had complications from lasik eye surgery which prevented him from begin able to safely drive a race car as well as nerve ending damage in his hand. Now, he is all healed and ready for a comeback.
“After getting in the race car for the first time, it’s always something you continually chase.” Says Verra on his comeback. “Chasing that rush is everything, racing in competition is even more exciting! I’ve tested in California to get ready. My times are the fastest they have ever been after taking this break, it was the drive of wanting to come back, and what more of a perfect way to come back then jumping into a big series on a completely different continent.” Ryan will be racing in the Formula 3 series, as it’s only Canadian driver, September 5-7 at the Autódromo do Velopark inBrazil. He will be running with the well know RR Racing Team in the #3 car.
The F3 series has been known as the first major stepping stone for Formula 1 hopefuls. The cars are predominately a Dallara chassis, very fast, open-wheel aero with all spec engines. F3 has been the launching pad for famous drivers such as Nelson Piquet, Ricardo Zonta, Christian Fittipaldi, multiple Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. “It’s going to be a good stepping stone for me to work my way up in an international field of talented South American drivers, in a very popular series. I’m honored to be out there as the only Canadian representing my country and all those supported my journey.”
This race will be the first time Ryan Verra has ever piloted a Formula 3 car. It is going to be the fastest car he has ever driven but, he feels more than ready for it. “You are always getting better, keeping momentum, getting faster. And getting invited to race in an international world renowned series right now is huge for me. The experience gained from the Mazda Road to Indy is something you can really take anywhere.” He speaks of his time during the series fondly. “Last year, after my USF2000 season, I had a lot of doors open to me and after this, if it goes well, I have a lot of options to come back to.”
But what made Ryan decide to jump into a F3 car after completing only his rookie year in USF2000? “I was invited by RR Racing through a reference from one of their drivers.” He explains, “I thought it would be a great opportunity to get back in the race car. I can’t wait to get out there! These cars are faster than anything I’ve ever driven, but I like that. It’s in a new country and I arrive a few days before the race so no time to even test the car; I will be jumping in and racing in a car, country, series, I have no experience in… but what can I say other than YOLO. I do have experience with standing starts and have done very well with them in the past, as well as working with my racing coach on maximizing what I do know now and applying it to a completely new environment. Plus, I mean, it’s Brazil; the experience and challenge alone is what drives me most.
A fantastic opportunity it is. Ryan is, also, fully prepared to represent his home country proudly. “It feels awesome to be the only Canadian racing. Anytime I can be out there representing my country, and the people behind me, it gives me extra horsepower, pure confidence, momentum, extra everything. It feels real knowing I can represent Canada in F3.”
A new experience is one thing but, the subtle but important respect from those watching for completing in this race will be a huge advantage for Ryan Verra’s future. He hopes to come back to the Formula 3 series and, maybe, win the championship one day. With the determination Ryan Verra has, there is no doubt he will complete any challenge thrown his way.