Ryan Sy fights from back of grid to grab 3rd on Rotax MAX debut


12-year-old Ryan Sy certainly impressed on his first outing in the Rotax MAX Challenge Philippines last April 10. After a race incident that relegated him to last place, the PCRC karter delivered a strong recovery drive to cross the finish line in 3rd during the all-important Finals at the Carmona Race Track.

Ryan is barely into his first year in karting, but has already shown that he has a natural talent for the sport. Group founder Ron Hu and coach Sky from PCRC were the one who introduced him to go karts who gave him a free ride in a Kart Republic kart with an X30 engine. The boy was immediately hooked and as they say, the rest is history. He was 3rd overall in MiniRok last year before moving up to the Junior Category in 2022 where he intends to compete in the full race calendar of both the Rotax MAX Challenge Philippines and Rok GP Super Karting Series.

He set the early pace in Practice after toping the time sheets with a 1:00.257 lap. His most brilliant performance then came during the Qualifying Heat where he swapped positions with Bern Corpino for the lead at almost every lap. Their battle lasted for a full 8 laps with Ryan taking the chequered flag in 1st by a slim 0.083 sec margin, successfully fending off a more experienced karter. However, thing got a bit more rough in the Finals with Ryan being pushed off on lap 1. That dropped him to dead last, but somehow mustered up the courage to fight back up the standings to claim his first podium of the season.

There’s going to be a month ’til the races resume on the 15th of May at the Palawan International Circuit and there’s going to be another 10 more events after that in Ryan’s busy 2022 calendar. But that’s just the beginning of a long motorsports journey for this future champion. For his young age, he’s very motivated to drive fast, win races, and eventually reach higher levels of racing. His ultimate goal is for one day to get into single-seaters and emulate his idol Michael Schumacher.

Ryan Sy: “My first race in Juniors was fun. Although a race incident during the Finals put me in last, it was enjoyable to catch up from behind and get up to 3rd. I learned from the experience that I still have to improve on a lot of things on my race craft and hope we can do better next month. I want to thank my parents for allowing me to race and putting a lot of effort to help me get better in driving. Also to my coach Elson and uncle Red for their valuable lessons and preparing my kart in the best condition possible.”

Ryan Sy is sponsored by MAX888, LF JOY Realty Inc., and WrapTeck. For more info and updates, follow @ryangogogo_ on Instagram.

[Photos by Bong Boado]