Hunter-Reay, Newgarden to represent Team USA at ROC Mexico
Two former IndyCar champions Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden are the latest drivers on the list of participants of the 2019 Race of Champions that will take place on January 19-20 at the Foro Sol, the amphitheatre inside the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
Hunter-Reay and Newgarden will join forces for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup, competing against a field of famous drivers from all around the world. The drivers confirmed so far are Sebastian Vettel, David Coulthard, Tom Kristensen, Helio Castroneves, Johan Kristoffersson, Lucas di Grassi, Mick Schumacher and Mexican racers Memo Rojas, Daniel Suarez, Benito Guerra and Patricio O’Ward.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was the IndyCar champion in 2012 and he made a debut at Race of Champions that year. In 2014, Hunter-Reay returned to Race of Champions as freshly crowned Indianapolis 500 winner. He was a regular ROC competitor since then.
“I’m delighted to be making my sixth straight appearance at the Race Of Champions. It is a spectacular event and a unique challenge to jump in and out of all the different cars as you go head-to-head with some of the best drivers in the world. So it is a tremendous honour to be invited to compete again. I’m proud to represent America, IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 and I look forward to hearing the noise of the crowds in Mexico City, where the passion for motorsport is huge,” Hunter-Reay said.
Josef Newgarden is the most recent American IndyCar Series champion, taking the title in 2017 with Team Penske. The previous champion from the US was Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2012. Newgarden made a Race of Champions debut last year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, also as a partner to Hunter-Reay.
“I’ve always been a big fan of the Race Of Champions. It’s incredible to get to join the event and go head-to-head with so many talented drivers from all forms of motorsport. It’s a friendly environment but it quickly turns very competitive as everyone wants to win. I’m also very excited to be driving for Team USA alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay. There aren’t that many American IndyCar Series Champions around so we’ll stick together and hope we can be successful! Experience is a big advantage at the Race Of Champions so I’m pumped to be competing for the second year in a row. But there’s also a strong class of rookies this year and they often end up doing well because they don’t come in with high expectations. The key is to be able to adapt quickly. There are so many different driving styles required across the cars in the competition. Whoever’s the best at acclimating to each car the quickest will have the best chance at a win,” Newgarden said.
Photos: Race of Champions,