10/6/1940 - 2/7/1962
A young Canadian driver who built a fine reputation during his tragically short career, winning the Canadian GP in 1961 in a Lotus 23 beating Sir Stirling Moss also in a Lotus 23! Peter Ryan died 60 years ago, he was 22 , He would have been 82.
Peter Ryan, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was an American-born Canadian racing driver from Quebec. He built a fine reputation during his tragically short career, initially at the wheel of a Porsche RS60 with which he won a thrilling Sundown GP at Harewood in 1961. That triumph was followed by victory in the Canadian GP at Mosport in a Lotus 23, Ryan beating a similar car handled by no less a driver than Stirling Moss.
He only drove in one Formula One race driving a Lotus-Climax to 9th in the US Grand Prix in 1961.
Peter's successes came in sports cars racing in Canada, the US and Nassua. He was recognized as a star in the making and won numerous races in Canada. In 1962, Peter came to Europe for a planned season of Formula Junior in a works Lotus. He was loaned to the Ian Walker stable, immediately confirming his promise by beating Peter Arundell in the works car at Mallory Park.
Sadly, during a heat of the Formula 2 Coupe de Vitesse des Juniors at Reims, Peter's Lotus was involved in a collision with the Gemini of Bill Moss. Ryan was thrown from his car and died from internal injuries.