Ray White backed junior driver eyes prize
NORTH Lakes local Ryan Suhle is the youngest ever race winner in the F4 race category heading into the next round at Queensland Raceway on July 28.
Suhle, 15, burst onto the Australian Open wheel racing scene earlier this year, grabbing poles and podiums and making rapid gains in experience after each race.
Selected as a 2017 Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) Rising Star, the Ray White-backed entry has certainly proven himself after eclipsing the record as the youngest race winner in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship and in worldwide F4.
The young gun from North Lakes, on Brisbane’s northside, races with the full support of his parents Darren and Lisa Suhle who own Ray White North Lakes and Ray White Mango Hill.
Elite agent Darren Suhle, who comes from a motorsport family, understands Ryan’s passion to succeed on the track.
“The tracks are very safe, it’s a controlled environment and the recovery process is pretty full on if someone has a crash. Ryan had to be granted special approval to race at age 14 as he was the youngest ever. He is also the youngest ever race winner now in F4 category and we are very proud of him,” Mr Suhle said.
“It all adds up, the hard physical training, the strict diet and the partnership with the engineers all comes together. It can be such an emotional roller coaster too.
“In motorsport you can have highs and lows, just like real estate. But like us with our real estate businesses, Ryan is giving it his all and he has the right mindset as well,” said Darren, who opened Ray White North Lakes six years ago, and then Ray White Mango Hill, two years ago.
The world of single-seater racing has undergone a radical shift with the introduction of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship in 2015. Formula 4 has been developed and certified by the FIA as the pre-eminent open-wheel development category across the globe, the critical step between elite junior karting, Formula 3 and ultimately Formula 1.
The aim of this category is to unearth the next generation of Australian drivers who will make it to the world stage.
“With the CAMS Foundation Rising Star featuring such impressive alumni as Matthew Brabham, Macauley Jones, Scott Pye and James Courtney, we are excited to see how our Rising Stars of 2017 develop into Australia’s next generation of motor racing stars,” CAMS Foundation director Mark Skaife said.
“Importantly, the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship is internationally credentialed as a pathway for young drivers looking to make their mark in Australia in Supercars, or to those aspiring for an international open-wheel career such as past CAMS Foundation recipients Daniel Ricciardo and Will Power.”
“The CAMS Board is confident that Ryan Suhle is among the best young racing talent in Australia.”
Ryan is well in the lead for the Rookie of the Year title as the only competitor to qualify for two pole position starts.
“There are seven rounds this year, with the most recent round being at Phillip Island, a Grand Prix circuit where we reach speeds of up to 230kph down the straight with a first corner speed of around 220kpm which is pretty crazy,” Ryan said.
“I have a real opportunity in front of me to make something of my racing career. I want to drive a racing car, that’s what I want to do” said the youngster.
“I’m excited to race at Queensland Raceway, it’s technically considered my home track but funnily enough, even though I’ve been racing karts locally since I was seven years old, the kart tracks are obviously very different from the car circuits, so I haven’t actually done any F4 racing there as yet.
“I’ve done more laps at Phillip Island but I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to drive on one of our local tracks.”
At Zagame, Ryan is mentored by Cameron McConville (Bathurst winner, professional racing car driver, and team manager of Zagame Autosport) and former Olympic sprinter turned racing car driver John Steffensen.
Ryan is in Year 10 at Brisbane Grammar School and the school supports his extra curricular training and racing demands.
“The teachers are very supportive and understanding of me at Brisbane Grammar. Racing is what I want to do with my life. I want to be a professional racing car driver and they understand my ambitions,” he said.
“I always loved motorsport and the coolest thing my dad did for me when I was little was when he built me a wooden simulator. It had an F1 game on it with an old steering wheel and pedal set. It was a little old TV and had a go-kart seat in it. It was in the lounge room and I used to thrash around on it for hours, I loved it.”
Ray White Queensland CEO Tony Warland said from the first time he met Darren and Lisa Suhle he knew they had ambitions for their real estate business and the community they love to work in.
“They were very special in the relationship that they have and wanted to extend to the real estate community. Not only have they have grown into two businesses and have a beautiful property management service business, Darren has also become an elite performer which is our highest level of productivity in sales,” he said.
“The Ray White business is based firmly on family orientation, and the Suhle’s children are so supported and achieving in their chosen areas above the line.
“We passionately enjoy having them in our group as they are the full package. The Suhles have done all this at their own expense too.”