- September 24, 1981
- Imsa Sportscar Championship
- Chip Ganassi Racing
Ryan Briscoe is an Australian racing driver who achieved the most in North American racing competitions. He recorded 131 starts in the IndyCar Series between 2005 and 2015, scoring eight victories and finishing best in the third place in 2009 season. In the sports car racing, he scored class victories in greatest endurance races (Daytona 24, Sebring 12h, Petit Le Mans) and finished best as the runner-up in the 2007 American Le Mans Series LMP2 class.
Briscoe currently drives for Ford Chip Ganassi in the IMSA Sports Car Championship, in which he was the GTLM class runner-up in 2016. In the same year, he also reached GT class podium at 24 hours of Le Mans.
Champion in the first season of racing
Ryan Briscoe started a career in karting, switching to bigger cars in 2000, when he participated in one race of the Italian Formula Renault with Prema Powerteam. Next year, he stayed with the team for the full season in the Formula Renault 2.0 Italy, becoming a champion in his debut season. He also entered six races of the Formula Renault Eurocup, winning two times.
Testing for Toyota F1 team
In 2002, Briscoe started to compete in the International Formula 3000 with Nordic Racing but left the series after even races. He raced instead in the German Formula 3 with Prema Powerteam, not scoring wins or podiums.
The season 2002 would be remembered because he was invited by Toyota F1 team to test for them. In 2004, Briscoe was promoted as the third driver of Panasonic Toyota Racing team, participating as Friday's practice driver in five Grand Prix events.
2003 Formula 3 Euro Series champion
In the meantime, while driving for Toyota, Briscoe became the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series champion. He was driving Dallara-Opel for Prema Powerteam, winning eight times in twenty races and dominantly taking a title ahead of Christian Klien.
In the non-championship F3 Macau Grand Prix, he finished seventh. He was third in the Masters of Formula 3 event at Zandvoort.
Moving to Indy Racing League in 2005
After three seasons with Toyota F1 team, there was no free seat on the F1 grid for Briscoe in 2005, so he moved to North America to race for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the Indy Racing League. He was driving the #33 Panoz-Toyota, taking a pole at Sonoma and finishing 10th at Indianapolis 500. At the end of the season, he was 19th in the points. He missed few races due to injuries.
Diverse racing program in 2006
Between seasons 2005 and 2006, Briscoe participated in four races of the A1 Grand Prix series for Team Australia. He was dropped by Ganassi for 2006 Indy season but he had a diverse racing program in other competitions. He participated in three races of the Rolex Sports Car Series with SunTrust Racing, scoring two podiums, both at Watkins Glen.
In the open-wheel racing, Briscoe recorded four IndyCar starts with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, finishing third at Watkins Glen. He also joined RuSport in two races of the Champ Car season. In September and October, Briscoe traveled to Australia to drive for Holden Racing Team in two endurance events (Sandown, Bathurst) of the V8 Supercars Championship.
LMP2 class runner-up in the 2007 American Le Mans Series
For the 2007 season, Briscoe joined Penske Racing to compete full season in the American Le Mans Series. He was driving the #6 Porsche RS Spyder in the LMP2 class, sharing a car with Sascha Maassen. Scoring three class wins, including Sebring 12 Hours, Briscoe/Maassen finished second in the points, behind teammates Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.
While racing in the ALMS, Briscoe had a one-off appearance in the IRL IndyCar Series, driving for Luczo-Dragon Racing at Indianapolis 500. He finished fifth.
Five IndyCar seasons with Penske
In 2008, Briscoe returned to IndyCar Series as the full-time driver of #6 Team Penske Dallara-Honda. He scored his maiden IndyCar victory at the Milwaukee Mile. Later he added one more points-paying victory at Mid-Ohio and a victory in an exhibition race at Surfers Paradise. At the end of the season, he was fifth in the points.
In 2009, Briscoe was the race winner three times (St.Petersburg, Kentucky, Chicagoland), finishing third in the championship. It remained his best season's finish. He spent three more seasons with Penske, scoring two wins and repeating fifth place at Indy 500 in 2012.
Third place overall at 2008 Daytona 24 Hours
During IndyCar years with Penske, Briscoe also participated occasionally in sports car races. In January 2008, he was third overall at Daytona 24 Hours, sharing Penske-Taylor Racing's Riley-Pontiac with Helio Castroneves and Kurt Busch.
One more notable result was the class victory at 2008 Petit Le Mans, where he was sharing a car with Helio Castroneves. From 2010 to 2013, Briscoe also regularly returned to V8 Supercars Championship endurance races.
24 Hours of Le Mans debut in 2013
Briscoe left Team Penske and he had no ride for the 2013 IndyCar season. Instead, he was hired by Level 5 Motorsports to drive their HPD-ARX 03b at Sebring 12 Hours. He, Scott Tucker and Marino Franchitti were LMP2 class winners.
Briscoe stayed with the team for the full-season in the ALMS but also participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Rejoining Chip Ganassi Racing in 2013
Briscoe rejoined Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 as team's third driver. He finished in 12th place. After that, Panther Racing hired Briscoe to drive in six races.
For the 2014 IndyCar season, Briscoe returned full-time to Chip Ganassi Racing, driving the #8 Dallara-Chevrolet. His best result was fourth place at Pocono and he finished 11th in the championship standings.
A season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
For the 2015 IndyCar Series season, Chip Ganassi Racing took another driver for the #8 car. Briscoe tried to make an agreement with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, but that failed due to financial difficulties.
However, he was invited to drive for the team as a replacement for injured James Hinchcliffe. Briscoe started eight times, finishing best in fifth place in the season's finale at Sonoma. It was the end of his open-wheel career so far.
2015 - class victories at Daytona and Sebring
In 2014 and 2015, Briscoe was driving for Corvette Racing in endurance events of the IMSA United Sports Car Championship. In 2015, he scored GTLM class victories in two greatest American sports car races – at Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours.
In both events, he was sharing the #3 Chevrolet Corvette with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. They also contested at Le Mans together but didn't start the race due to Magnussen's crash during a practice.
GT class podium at 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours
In 2016, Briscoe rejoined Chip Ganassi Racing again, for the third time in a career. He became a part of Ford factory endurance program, driving brand-new Ford GT in the IMSA Sports Car Championship and at 24h Le Mans. His full-time partner in the #67 Ford was Richard Westbrook. They won races at Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen and Mosport to finish second in the final GTLM class standings.
At 24h Le Mans, Briscoe and Westbrook were driving the #69 Ford, sharing a car with Scott Dixon. They finished 20th overall and third in the GTE Pro class.
Briscoe and Westbrook are driving together in the 2017 IMSA Sportscar Championship season.