Ryan Hunter-Reay has confirmed that he will make his second appearance in the Race of Champions when it takes place later this year at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados.
Hunter-Reay, who won this year's Indianapolis 500 in a thrilling finish with Helio Castroneves, previously took part in the event in 2012 when it was held in Thailand just after he had won his first IndyCar Series championship title.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to the Race of Champions for the second time," said Hunter-Reay. "My first ROC in Bangkok was an amazing experience, going head-to-head with some of the best drivers from every different motor sport discipline from around the world."
Hunter-Reay finished in sixth place in this year's IndyCar championship after claiming wins for Andretti Autosport at Barber Motorsports Park and Iowa as well as the Indy 500 in May. He is the most successful American driver currently racing in open-wheel competition with 14 career wins in the series to date..
He also has race wins in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am, proving the sort of flexibility he'll need in the ROC which pits drivers from all different types of motorsports disciplines in a head-to-head knock-out competition in a variety of equally-matched vehicles.
"Experience really helps with the short amount of seat time in each of the different types of ROC race car," Hunter-Reay said. "When it's time to head to Barbados for the race weekend, I'll be focused on winning. It's an honour to represent America, IndyCar and the Indy 500 in such a prestigious event."
Hunter-Reay is the third driver to be confirmed for this year's ROC, with Lotus F1 driver Romain Grosjean already confirming last week that he will be back to defend his Race of Champions title. [See separate story
.] Also announced as joining this year's ROC line-up is sports car legend Tom Kristensen.
"It's great news that Ryan is coming back to the Race of Champions," said ROC event organiser Fredrik Johnsson. "This year's Indianapolis 500 was a true classic and Ryan did brilliantly to hold off his rivals by such a tiny margin after that thrilling dice to the chequred flag.
"We can now look forward to seeing Ryan take on greats from all over the world of motorsport in December," Johnsson added. "He's right at the top of his game and now that he's already had a taste of the ROC machinery he's sure to be a big threat to all the other drivers."
This will be the first time that the ROC has been staged in Barbados. Previous venues to host the event include the Nurburgring, the Stade de France in Paris, Wembley Stadium in London, Beijing National Stadium and the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Last year's round was scheduled to be the second to be held at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. It had to be cancelled because of political unrest in the country, the first time that the ROC has been forced to miss a year since its inception in 1988.
This year's round in Barbados will be held on December 13-14.