Burgess targets more prized scalps
Ryan Burgess believes he is closing the gap on the top drivers in the Tag Senior class in his first season since stepping up from the junior level.
The 15-year-old, who stormed to the Tag Junior title last season, has already claimed a couple of prized scalps by beating Scott Barnes, the island’s top driver, and Blake Horseman.
Burgess, who won the Bermuda Karting Club’s Most Dominant Driver award last season, hopes to be regularly in the mix for chequered flags in the not-too-distant future.
“I was a bit off the pace at the start of the season but my times have definitely improved,” said the Mount Saint Agnes pupil. “I’m closing gap. I think I’ve done really well and I’m just trying to learn as much as I possibly can.”
Burgess, who started racing seven years ago, said his pair of heat victories this season have done wonders for his confidence.
“I beat Blake in my last race and also managed to beat Scott in week three of the season. Blake missed that race because of a mechanical failure. It feels good to beat those guys; it feels awesome.”
The Italkart Bermuda driver admits moving up to the adult class has had its challenges but feels he is getting to grips with the more powerful machines with each race.
“Tag Seniors are way more powerful [than Tag Juniors]; you have to take the corners differently and take different lines,” said Burgess, who has raced four times in the United States.
“The competition is way harder as these guys have been racing Tag Seniors for way longer than me. It’s definitely hard to keep up with them but I’m trying my best.”
Burgess, who counts Lewis Hamilton, the five-times Formula One champion, as his idol, said he will be striving to force his way into the Team Bermuda line-up for the 24 Hours of Italy next year.
Bermuda’s team of Barnes, Horseman, David Barbosa, Mark Selley, David Selley, Jeff Sousa, Ryan Lopes and Owen DeCosta came 29th out of 40 professional teams at the Adria Karting Raceway last month.
Next year, they plan to send an amateur team to the competition.
“It’s not up to me if I go, but it would definitely be a great experience to race against the top guys in Italy,” Burgess said.