Round the Bend in a tin top

Round the Bend in a tin top

North Lakes driver Ryan Suhle cannot wait to go round the Bend this weekend. In fact, he is taking a Porsche almost 2000kms to Adelaide for the experience.

The 18-year-old will be down in South Australia for round two of the Tin Top series, at the Bend Motorsport Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Ryan enters the event, which will be televised on Fox Sports 506, after finishing fourth in three races during round one at the Townsville Tin Top, late last month.

The Townsville races were created after the 2020 Porsche Sprint Challenge Championship was cancelled due to COVID-19 for cars ranging from Porsches to Toyota 86 cars.

With broad categories, Ryan, in his Porsche GD3 Cup Car, was taking on the likes of an unrestricted Aston Martin and former Bathurst winner Luke Youlden.

Streets debut

“It was the first time on a street circuit in the Porsche and it was an incredible experience,” says Ryan, whose parents built one of the first homes in North Lakes.

“It was very high risk and thrilling. There’s zero room for error which makes being fast incredibly challenging, especially against someone like Luke.

“My aspiration from here is to compete in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Championship.

“This is the top end of one-make Porsche racing and they travel around with the Formula 1 World Championship, which is awesome!”

Aiming high

That target is two racing steps away. First to enter and win the Carrera Cup and then look to be selected by Porsche for the Supercup Championship.

“It’s a big vision,” says Ryan, a sales and marketing consultant with Ray White North Lakes, “but plenty of Australian drivers have done it.”

Though still a teenager, Ryan already has an impressive race record with 531 races, 236 podium finishes, 84 wins and 28 starts from pole position.

He started young. At seven Ryan was rising up the ranks of Rookies and Junior National Light and by 13 competed in Australia’s toughest junior classes, the KF3 and Junior Max.

Two-time Karting World Champion James Courtney spotted the talent and Ryan spent 2014 with the Holden Kart Team, a junior program for Holden Racing.

Rising star

In 2015 Ryan moved into Formula Ford and in 2017 had a $50,000 scholarship from the CAMS for its Rising Stars program, from which Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo emerged.

In 2018 Ryan switched to AGI Sport and finished runner-up in the 2018 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship, never finishing outside of the top four.

Last year, he competed in the CAMS Payce Australian Formula 4 Championship and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship, recording wins in both.

As a CAMS Rising Star Ambassador, Ryan raced on the famous Albert Park Formula 1 circuit in Melbourne, at the opening round of the Formula 4 Championship – taking second place.

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