Peter Ryan

Image courtesy of Canadian Racer

Inducted 1993 – Competitor – Road Racing


If Canada had a chance of landing a driver in the big times in the early days of auto racing in this country, it was Peter Ryan, the first Canadian to compete in a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Peter Ryan was born in Philadelphia, PA. He grew up at Mont Tremblant, PQ and always raced as a Canadian. He caught everyone’s attention by winning the 1961 Canadian Grand Prix in a Lotus 19. He drove a Lotus Climax in the 1961 US Grand Prix on October 8,1961. He started 16 of 19 starters and finished 9th. His drive impressed Lotus sufficiently to land a factory drive in 1962. In 1962, at Riems, France, Peter was killed when his factory Lotus Formula junior rolled violently. He was just 22.