Ryan Hunter-Reay has enjoyed many great experiences at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but will add a new one at this weekend's 42nd running of the event.
The American met his future wife Beccy at Long Beach, the pair were engaged there and Hunter-Reay won the 2010 Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 1.968-mile temporary street course, but now he's adding another achievement. Not only will the 2012 series champion be driving the #28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport in the main event, but he'll also be racing the day before in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Visit Florida Racing's Daytona Prototype Corvette.
"It's a unique opportunity to drive for two great teams," 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Hunter-Reay admitted, "I've done it before in the past with AJ Foyt and Level 5 (in 2009 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
), but I have [Andretti Autosport owner] Michael Andretti to thank. He looked at it from a driver's viewpoint first and team owner's second."
Hunter-Reay has already driven in a pair of endurance races this season in the #90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette, finishing third at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and fifth at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and explained that while 'IndyCar is my prime objective and main focus, I wouldn't be doing this if I thought it would detract from either'.
"The two driving styles are extremely different," Hunter-Reay added, "It's a track I love. The hardest point, the prime objective, is to get that last half-second, two-tenths, out of the car - that's what most difficult."