Andretti Autosports' reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will be competing in the 51st GRAND-AM Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona event later in January, it's been confirmed.
Hunter-Reay will be one of the drivers of the #10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype entered by Wayne Taylor Racing. His co-drivers will be Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor. It will be Hunter-Reay's seventh consecutive appearance in the event, and his 16th outing in GRAND-AM.
"I look forward to once again be driving for Wayne and working with the team that catapulted my career resurgence in 2006," said the 32-year-old who now lives in Florida. "After winning the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship with Team Chevy, I'm delighted to be an integral part of Chevrolet's biggest US endurance event of the year."
Although Hunter-Reay was in the driver line-up of the winning car in the 2007 season-ending 1,000-mile endurance race at Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City, he has yet to clinch a podium in the Daytona race. Last year he finished in tenth place in a Starworks Motorsport car, with his IndyCar team mate Marco Andretti as one of his fellow drivers.
Andretti is not taking part in the event this year, but other competitors already announced for this year's 24 hour endurance race include Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud and Justin Wilson. Wilson was one of the drivers of the winning car in 2012, along with AJ Allmendinger, Ozz Negri and John Pew. (See separate story
This weekend sees the last three-day pre-race test opportunity for the drivers ahead of the race itself, which will be run on January 26-27.
Hunter-Reay is also currently celebrating the birth of his first child, after his wife Beccy delivered 6 pound, 8 ounce Ryden Hunter-Reay on December 28. "I thought we would be dealing with this in mid-January, so it was unexpected," Hunter-Reay admitted. "He was born on December 28, which is my car number, so I guess it was meant to be.
"His name is Ryden because my wife Beccy really wanted him to have the initials RHR. He's amazing, it was such an amazing experience," he added. "The first time through is a magic experience but as a dad standing alongside, it was very nerve-racking."
Waltrip teams with AF Corse for Daytona
Michael Waltrip Racing will be entering a Ferrari 458 GT in association with AF Corse in this year's GRAND-AM Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, with MWR team co-owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman themselves forming part of the driver line-up.