Ryan’s need for speed

The Compass - - OPINION - Nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

On July 25, East­bound In­ter­na­tional Speed­way & Con­cert Park had its grand open­ing and one Win­ter­ton driver was in the mid­dle of it.

Amongst the aerial dis­play of the mo­tocross rac­ers and the pure ve­hi­cle carnage pro­vided by the mon­ster trucks, Ryan St. Ge­orge was pre­par­ing for to race in the Le­gends se­ries com­pe­ti­tion.

Work­ing to get his car ready with mem­bers of the pit crew, in­clud­ing his fa­ther Rod and brother Blair, 25year-old Ryan mar­veled as thou­sands of ex­cited race fans streamed into the Avon­dale-based speed­way look­ing to drink in as many left turns as they could.

“They were re­ally ec­static,” said Ryan. “It is easy to get caught up in it.”

Many driv­ers will tell you rac­ing is an adren­a­line rush. They will tell you their heart starts pump­ing with the first rev of the car’s en­gine and does not stop un­til the race is fin­ished.

“Any­thing can hap­pen at time,” said Ryan.

The A-1 Glass Le­gends car’s de­sign is based on a 1934 Ford. It is a sin­gle-seat ve­hi­cle that runs a 1250 Yamaha sports bike en­gine and weighs just 1,300 pounds.

Ryan said the power to weight ra­tio is sim­i­lar to that of a Corvette. “It gets mov­ing,” he said. Ryan de­scribed rac­ing the Le­gends se­ries car as “be­ing more on edge.”

“You’re always on the brink of grip,” he said. “The end might snap out at any mo­ment and you have to be ready to catch it.”

When his race was fin­ished, Ryan was sign­ing au­to­graphs for young fans of the sport. It was not some­thing he ex­pected, but it was some­thing he was more than happy to do.

“It was just crazy,” he sad. “They’re all on the edge of their seats and its great to have new en­ergy for the sport in the prov­ince be­cause we haven’t had it in awhile.”

Min­i­mal ex­pe­ri­ence

any

St. Ge­orge has not been rac­ing long.

He fig­ures he has five week­ends of race ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt.

“I started at the end of last year,” Ryan noted.

He first raced at Thun­der Val­ley Speed­way in Bishop Falls in 2012 in the sports­man se­ries.

De­spite be­ing still a novice in the high-oc­tane world of mo­tor­sports, Ryan was ex­posed to rac­ing at an early age.

From For­mula 1 races to Nas­car, he fell in love with the sport.

“It’s ex­cit­ing,” said Ryan about what draws him to rac­ing. “I played a lot of sports grow­ing up and this trumps it all.”

Learn­ing curve

While he said he “picked up rac­ing pretty eas­ily,” Ryan noted there was is a steep learn­ing curve in the sport.

“You can’t swim,” he said.

There is a re­spect level that has to go into the sport. There is an ad­just­ment to driv­ing at the high speeds, with other rac­ers and for the sheer power be­hind the ve­hi­cle it­self.

just jump

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One thing you can’t do is think about go­ing into the wall or mak­ing a mis­take. When you start think­ing about it, the chances go up that some­thing could hap­pen.

“You re­ally have to re­spect the learn­ing curve and know your lim­its,” said Ryan.

From an out­sider’s

per­spec­tive, rac­ing is seen as an in­di­vid­ual sport.

But, that is not the case. A good race hap­pens when the driver is work­ing with his pit crew and vice versa.

“It is def­i­nitely a team sport,” said Ryan. “There is great ca­ma­raderie.”

Sub­mit­ted photo

Win­ter­ton’s Ryan St. Ge­orge stands next to his Le­gends se­ries racer at the East­bound In­ter­na­tional Speed­way and Con­cert Park last month.

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