Eighteen-year-old Justin Ryan from Headford, Co Galway, was recently crowned the Mayo and Districts Motorsport Club young driver champion. Ryan managed to clinch the title by one point on the final round of the four round series based in Harrington’s Quarry Swinford. The battle for the title commenced back in May, the first event of the season, loose surface autocross. During the winter layoff from competition Ryan and his father John Paul upgraded their 1.4 Honda Civic to a 1.6, this was to prove a decisive move for the pair and the championship.
In the first round he ended the event in 20th place overall, and managed to bag seven young drivers’ points. This was to be a very good start for Ryan and it would set him up well for the championship. Round two saw him finish 26th overall and 10th in class. He was lucky to secure a big points haul, receiving 10 points towards his championship campaign, and in the third race of the season he was to take the maximum points haul putting him in a commanding position for the championship.
The big win on the third event put him just one point behind his neighbour Alan Higgins going into the final round. The final round saw Ryan take the title by the slimmest of margins, a one tenth of a second difference between him and the second placed man in the competition saw the title go to Ryan. With a bit of luck on his side and some incredible driving during the year, Ryan proved that he is definitely a force to be reckoned with for in future for motorsport in Mayo.