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Profile: Ryan Briscoe

By Andrew Cutler
November 12 2007

Patience and determination have finally paid off for Ryan Briscoe. After having his rookie season in the IndyCar Series - in 2005, when he scored five top ten finishes in fifteen starts - cut short by an accident, he was dropped by Ganassi Racing at season's end.

But his trek began well before then.

After a very successful rise through the karting ranks, Ryan joined the Italian Formula Renault 2000 Winter Series in 2000, claiming three poles & one victory. In 2001 he captured the Italian Formula Renault 2000 Championship with five wins. He also won twice in the Formula Renault Eurocup Series, and signed with the Toyota Driver Academy, earning a test drive with the Toyota F1 squad.

2002 would find Briscoe continuing to test with Toyota F1, as well as running in the German Formula 3 & the Formula 3000 International series. He would win the 2003 Formula 3 Euroseries Championship, winning eight times: he would also still test for Toyota F1.

For 2004 Ryan would concentrate on his duties as a Toyota test driver, but an F1 race seat kept eluding him. So, for 2005, he moved to America to drive for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing Indycar squad. Briscoe had a decent, if unspectacular rookie season until he was involved in a major crash at Chicagoland. Ryan would be hospitalized for over two months while recovering.

When he came back in 2006, he no longer had a seat at Ganassi. He picked up a few rides in extra cars for the Dreyer & Reinbold team, as well as running select Champ Car events for RuSPORT. He also competed in several A1GP races, as well as in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series weekend at Watkins Glen.    

For 2007 Ryan signed with Roger Penske's ALMS squad, teaming with Sascha Maassen in a LMP2 car. In twelve races they never finished worse than eighth, winning twice. Ryan also took part in that year's Indy 500, finishing 5th for Luczo Dragon racing, which is co-owned by Roger Penske's son, Jay.

It was no suprise when Penske tabbed Briscoe to replace NASCAR-bound Sam Hornish Jr. in his IndyCar Squad for '08. After a rough start, Ryan found form at Milwaukee, claiminghis first series win. Two more victories would come his way; at Mid-Ohio and the post-season "exhibition" race at Surfers Paradise, Australia. Briscoe would finish fifth in the championship hunt.

Ryan was in the thick of the championship hunt in 2009, finishing third in the standing after notching three wins and a further 10 top-ten finishes. Once again at Team Penske for 2010, Ryan posted a victory at Texas, a second-place finish at Watkins Glen and six other top-five results.

Ryan will remain at Team Penske for the 2011 season.  

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